Introducing: The Community Outreach Alliance

By Carly Illeck

Introducing: The Community Outreach Alliance

2020 was… unpredictable, to say the least. As a result, every individual, every small business, faced tremendous struggles. However, we at Drop Top Company continued our monthly donations toward our foundations. We thought this may be an excellent time to show YOU, our customers, our supporters, or anyone else who may stumble across our company, who our foundations are, what they do, and all the things your donations assist our foundations in accomplishing. You’ve seen the apparel, now we’d like to introduce you to the purpose. 


Introducing: The Community Outreach Alliance: 

Written By: Teri Steel

COA Executive Director

Thrive Alive Project Manager

“Community Outreach Alliance (COA), is a non-profit organization established in 2014 with  roots in San Clemente, California. 

In 2014, a town hall meeting was held following the loss of several local teens and young adults by way of suicide, overdose or tragic accidents. Those in attendance were leaders in recovery, mental health, education and law, expressing the dire need to help children and young adults in the fight against drug abuse and addiction, demanding these incidents not be seen as isolated occurrences but rather be seen as a call to action for everyone in the community. 

As the meeting came to an end, the call to action was unanimously accepted. Change was long overdue, and the COA was ready to demand it. 

The mission? Engage the youth, especially the ‘at risk’ youth, in activities and events that show them life is worth living, while inspiring healthy lifestyle choices which may just be essential to their happiness, success, and most of all, survival.

Since then, our continued goal is to create truly fun programs for young people to participate in, while providing access to professionals and volunteers who can help them on their journey to live, to thrive, without drugs and alcohol. 

Since the very beginning of our Community Outreach Alliance, we’ve watched people who participated in our events in their youth return to us as volunteers in hopes that they can aid in playing the role someone once did for them. All of our  volunteers choose to give back by engaging in their own community outreach - actively participating or performing at local events, bringing the process full-circle and creating memories and experiences that will last a lifetime!

Many of our mentors, educators, and volunteers have their own story to tell. 

We’ve discovered that participating in our events not only positively benefits the youth, but  helps the person in recovery stay in recovery, by revisiting old talents such as playing tennis, volleyball, stand up paddling boarding, piano, guitar, hiking, et cetera, while mentoring teens to try everything and anything a life without drugs has to offer, even when it’s out of their comfort zone. 

We receive a vast amount of testimonies and visits from now-adults who were once a youth in the COA, expressing gratitude for saving their lives. These visits and letters are the greatest paycheck any person could ever receive.

Due to the COVID pandemic we have been forced to suspend some of our programs, but we have every intention reopening and even expanding programs once it is deemed safe to do so. The COA will again be offering weekly Thrive Alive classes covering an array of activities and opportunities: we want our up and coming generations to involve themselves in music, sports, internships, leadership courses, giving and volunteering, gaming, fundraising, photography, art, counseling, comedy, and much more!”

COA Club Youth Leader, Nicole De Santos, perfectly encapsulates all that the COA Club was able to achieve in 2020 alongside many mentors in the field of mental health and recovery. Many of the students have their own trials that we refer to as ‘unique stories’. We always encourage them to learn from the conferences we offer through our vast resources with a goal of choosing healthy options and activities in their effort to stay above the influence of drugs and alcohol".

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