Foundation

Because grant funds have spending restrictions, UNITE created the UNITE Foundation to receive individual and corporate donations. All gifts are tax deductible as allowed by law and 100 percent of your donation will be used for programs in the initiative(s) you specify:

Education & Youth Outreach – UNITE’s primary focus is to reach out to the youth by providing drug-free activities and prevention.

Treatment – UNITE offers vouchers for short term and long term treatment for low-income residents wanting to help battle off Drug Addiction.

Law Enforcement – UNITE operates a fully accredited drug task force within the 29 counties of Kentucky’s Fifth Congressional District.

General – Supports any UNITE community prevention program or activity where financial assistance is needed.

Education & Youth Outreach

DSC_0016Imagine a 4-year-old child meeting a drug addict every day. The addicts visit her home to buy a cocktail of prescription drugs from her parents.

Operation UNITE staff members and volunteers have met this child — and hundreds just like her — time and time again. These children are the drive behind Operation UNITE. Our mission and hope is for their salvation from what they’ve learned from their own mom and dad, grandparents or siblings dealing and abusing drugs.

The letter “E” in our name, UNITE, stands for Education. We cannot put parents or caregivers in jail and ignore the children waiting at home with a mind full of questions and doubt.

The UNITE Foundation allows us to introduce these children to a life without drugs. Beyond UNITE Clubs in schools we have the opportunity to take these children on fishing trips, to basketball camps and week-long summer camps. We mentor these kids and give them time away from the destructive life of drugs they’ve experienced, or tempted to experience, even before they go on their first date.

AmeriCorps is a phenomenal addition to our team. UNITE Service Corps members spend their time tutoring students in reading and math and providing research-based prevention programs in the classroom. In addition, UNITE funds Substance Abuse Counselors to provide early intervention for middle and high school students.

Research and experience has also led our anti-drug education efforts beyond the classroom. More than 8,000 volunteers are now reaching out through 30 community coalitions across our region. Volunteers are designing educational anti-drug projects and events to gain momentum and spread our message faster.

Thanks to funding from local businesses, the hands of Operation UNITE can extend even further. We now teach senior citizens how to protect themselves from drug-related crimes, give communities tips on how to detect an active methamphetamine lab, and provide drug-free work place trainings. Parents can attend education courses to learn how to talk to their children about drugs and how to intervene if they think their child has already experimented with drugs or developed an addiction. Families can share the problems and solutions they’ve found.

The people of Southern and Eastern Kentucky are on the front line in the war against drugs because it has taken place in our own front yard for far too many generations.

Treatment

KRP-checkNothing makes us smile more than the sound of a good healthy cry of a newborn baby.

More than 175 mothers have given birth to healthy, drug-free babies after seeking treatment for their drug addictions. Most of the babies would have likely been denied the chance of being born without a drug dependency of their own.

UNITE’s Treatment Voucher Program is available to low-income residents who otherwise couldn’t afford to pursue residential treatment. More than 2,000 men, women and children have received vouchers for drug treatment during the last five years. Because of the vouchers, addicts can no longer use the excuse that they can’t afford to get help.

Fathers and mothers, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters are returning to their families — and to society — drug-free. Many of them are discovering sobriety for the first time in a decade or more.

It is our responsibility, as a community, to supply those in need with the resources they need to escape the drug community that has infiltrated their lives. Whether they are addicted to drugs or dealing drugs, each individual is searching for an entirely different lifestyle.

For drug dealers, their first experience with Operation UNITE is often incarceration. Some first-time, street-level dealers have the option of participating in Drug Court instead of spending time behind bars.

When UNITE began in 2003 there were only five Drug Court programs in all of Southeastern Kentucky. After a $4 million investment and a partnership with the Kentucky Administrative Office of the Courts, all 29 counties in our region now have Drug Courts.

To give you a little insight, Drug Court takes at least 18 months to complete. It requires each participant to obtain a G.E.D. if they didn’t graduate high school. Participants are required to seek employment or complete 40 hours of community service each week. Every participant is drug tested several times each week and required to attend at least three weekly counseling sessions. Many participants have said jail would have been the easy way out.

We invite you to attend a Drug Court graduation. Each graduate finishes with a tear-jerking testimony of victory. It is an emotional experience for many who have finally become victorious over the thing that stole their families, their homes and jobs.

One of the most amazing parts of Drug Court is that all but one person works in the program on an entirely volunteer basis — judges, prosecutors, police officers, defense attorneys and community members all donate countless hours to assisting in the recovery of drug addicts.

Operation UNITE is celebrating recovery one family at a time.

Law Enforcement

Hands in cuffsDozens of suspected drug dealers are taken off the street in a single day.

It is a statement that may sound shocking if you don’t live in Southern and Eastern Kentucky. To us, it is a routine story.

Our undercover detectives are supplied with the best equipment and protection to build solid cases against drug dealers that will stand the test of court. UNITE is proud to have a conviction rate around 97 percent. We are also one of only two Kentucky drug task forces in the state accredited by the Kentucky Association of Chiefs of Police.

UNITE’s regional drug task force teams up with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to build cases on the street-level dealers all the way up to multi-state drug traffickers. After obtaining charges on dozens of suspected drug dealers in each county, officers conduct drug roundups to take them off the street.

UNITE provides resources and manpower to many local law enforcement agencies that simply cannot afford to fight the war on drugs alone. Many of our local agencies are less than 10 officers strong — some cities operate with only a single officer in the whole department. Together we have, and will continue, to save lives through our combined law enforcement efforts.

Beyond making an arrest, UNITE is designed to assist individuals in changing their destructive lifestyles and to educate and help their family members. During a drug roundup, the men and women in handcuffs are often experiencing the worst day of their lives. It is rock bottom. Community volunteers join us at the processing location to let each person know that someone cares about them and offer help. They plant the seed of hope for a better future.