OCCHY connects Orthodox Christian Church communities to public and private sector professionals and community advocates to establish a healthier environment for our youth. Each local coalition offers and promotes:
- distinctive substance abuse solutions
through policy change, environmental design modification and substance abuse prevention tactics
- healthy sexuality and righteous living through awareness, education and mentoring
The Healthy Youth Initiative
Fr. Joseph Purpura, Chairman of the Department of Youth and Parish Ministries, and Kh. Kathleen Purpura, Youth Consultant and Executive Director of OCCHY, work with the White House Director of the Drug Free Communities Program, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the staff of the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA), and local coalition leaders to establish substance prevention coalitions across America. The Healthy Youth initiative offers communities an opportunity to heighten awareness of how to combat substance abuse, prevent bullying, encourage sexual abstinence outside of marriage, and encourage respect for the sanctity of the human body.
OCCHY is developing local community networks to address substance abuse prevention and healthy living in parishes of each diocese. Each local chapter is trained in coalition building in their community. Local chapter members are a resource in training and developing coalitions beyond their geographic area by helping other parishes within their diocese, other Orthodox Christian jurisdictions and other faith-based communities. By developing a model for faith-based coalition building, we are establishing, training, and leading substance abuse prevention and intervention coalitions across America.