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Operation Snowball Mission

Through the development of leadership skills, Operation Snowball shall be a youth and adult partnership, providing awareness and prevention of alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use, while encouraging healthy decision-making in an active community of caring.

The Creation of Snowball

Operation Snowball began in 1977 in Rockford, Illinois when participants of the Illinois Teenage Institute (ITI) (now the Cebrin Goodman Teen Institute/CGTI) came back to their community and thought, “We could do ITI back home!” Thus, Operation Snowball was created.  The name originates from the idea that “If I have a positive impact on you, you can have a positive impact on someone else and the effect snowballs.” Out of this concept emerged “A Community of Caring” – the success of Operation Snowball.  By 1979, Operation Snowball, Inc. obtained it’s not-for-profit 501(c)(3) status to make the program stronger.

Operation Snowball is funded in whole or in part by IDHS DASA per SABG Federal Funding.

A Comprehensive Prevention Program

  • The program fosters a youth & adult partnership.
  • Has been implemented in schools and communities ranging from rural, suburban and urban...from small towns to major metropolitian areas...with the ability to adapt components to address local conditions.
  • Uses the powerful energy and influence of youth to create an atmosphere of positive peer support, recognizing youth as part of the solution.
  • Supports Social Emotional Learning as youth develop attitudes, beliefs, behaviors, and cognitive skills that create healthy and competent adults.
  • Utilizes SAMHSA’s Strategic Prevention Framework in developing the infrastructure needed for a community-based, public health approach.
Picture of a group of teens participating in Operation Snowball

Our Chapters

Operation Snowball Chapters are organized in schools and communities primarily in Illinois, but are also found in other states and internationally.  View lists of our Chapters:

OS Chapter in the United States

International OS Chapters

Chapter Membership Requirement

An annual paid Chapter Membership is required to legally use the trademarked Operation Snowball model, logo, and materials.  Programs of Operation Snowball, Inc. include Snowball, Snowflake, Snowflurry, Segue, Blizzard, and Snowcap.  Chapters not in compliance with membership dues, guidelines, and the Snowball philosophy may NOT use the Operation Snowball model, logo, or materials.

Alumni & Friends

For most, Snowball was a life changing experience and people want to continue the connection. The Operation Snowball Alumni & Friends was developed to do just that.  You learned what it means to have the confidence to believe in yourself and continue to make healthy life choices, and impacting the next generation of Snowballers is legacy worth continuing.  Here’s how you can be involved!


Become a part of the Operation Snowball Alumni Network by completing the Alumni Form.



Contributions Today Impact Future Snowballs 



Follow Operation Snowball on Facebook and Twitter

IABH, established in 1967, manage and support our work.


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