Monday, December 29, 2014

Community Action Helps People and Changes Lives

Over the past 50 years, Community Action Agencies across the country have worked tirelessly to leverage resources, develop local programs, and administer grants to help low-income families and individuals achieve self-sufficiency to fight the war on poverty. Over the past year, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Economic Opportunity Action of 1964, we have celebrated the 50 best things about Community Action. Though our anniversary celebration is winding down, our successes and stories of hope, achievement and movement toward our mission, will continue.

The Community Action Promise states: “Community Action changes people’s lives, embodies the spirit of hope, improves communities, and makes America a better place to live. We care about the entire community, and we are dedicated to helping people help themselves and each other.”

For the over 6,000 staff serving all of Ohio’s 88 counties through 48 locally controlled Community Action Agencies, this is truly the case. From emergency services and job training and placement programs to weatherization and housing development, people all across the state are moving toward that mission and helping low-income Ohioans help themselves by narrowing gaps and creating bridges and opportunities to move out of poverty.

The Ohio Association of Community Action Agencies is proud of the work in our network and across America. There is still work to do and we look forward to celebrating the new and innovative programs that are created by Ohio’s agencies to help people and change lives. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Community Action Keeps Kids Warm

For the second consecutive year, Jackson-Vinton County Community Action, Inc. (JVCAI) has provided hundreds of brand new coats to low-income children to keep them warm. The program, which was made possible by the Governor’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives in partnership with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services and the Ohio Association of Community Action Agencies (OACAA), has already provided 290 coats to area children with more still available.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Community Action Provides Training

Fred had a liberal arts degree from Kent State University and struggled to find employment. Both he and his wife were working part-time jobs and struggling financially. They were the definition of the working poor. They were first referred to the Community Action Council of Portage County (CAC) by a board member who told them about a program that utilized Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to assist homeowners with repairs to their heating systems. The couple, who had two small children, had recently purchased a home in Kent through a first-time home buyers program and the furnace wasn’t functioning properly.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Community Action Helps Senior Citizens Remain in their Own Homes

The Scioto County Community Action Organization (CAO) Social Service Department received a call from Area Agency on Aging, District 7 on April 29.  The Passport case manager stated she had a consumer that needed repairs on a block foundation for a trailer.  She said the consumer was 69 years old, in a wheelchair, her trailer was an older model and the block foundation was not a permanent foundation, but stacked blocks. The foundation blocks settled or shifted over the years to the point the trailer was in danger of falling. As with most seniors, the consumer was not willing to move to an apartment or other household because the trailer and land was her home and she had lived on the property her entire life.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Will you be joining #GivingTuesday?

Social media has created a number of opportunities for nonprofits to increase fundraising goals while lowering campaign costs. It has successfully launched several viral micro-donation campaigns such as the Cold Water or ALS Ice Bucket Challenges and it has enhanced year-end and year-round fundraising. 

You've likely heard of Black Friday and Cyber Monday though have you heard of Giving Tuesday? The social media campaign, founded by New York’s 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation, created an outlet encouraging others give back after they grabbed a few holiday sales. The campaign quickly went viral and has since turned into a global movement.

“We have two [days] for getting deals. Now, we have #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back.”

Like the annual sale-day traditions, Giving Tuesday follows the Thanksgiving holiday. This year, it lands on December 2, 2014. In 2013, over $300 billion was donated to charities across the United States with much of that being donated in November and December. On Giving Tuesday, donations connected with the campaign are expected to increase 90% over last year’s contributions. The campaign continues to gain momentum with social media boosts while it creates new donor traditions.

For more information, news, webinars, and tools for joining the Giving Tuesday campaign, visit