Celebrating National Community Action Month: Committed to Keeping the PROMISE


National Community Action month highlights Community Action Agencies’ work helping millions of families and individuals escape poverty each year.

THE PROMISE OF COMMUNITY ACTION:

"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."

It is this promise that has fueled First State's commitment and efforts for the last 50 years. During the month of May -- National Community Action month -- we purposed to highlight our success and commitment to this promise.

Here's how we, First State Community Action Agency, commemorated National Community Action Month in Delaware....

Celebrating our Impact & Success

This month, First State put out information about the significant impact and success of community action agencies across the state and nation. Moreover, we received acknowledgment through proclamations and resolutions from municipal governments and state officials.

On Tuesday, May 5, members of the Delaware House of Representatives (148th General Assembly) adopted House Resolution No. 11 which proclaimed the month of May 2015 as National Community Action Month in Delaware and highlighted the impact of First State on low-income people. Proclamations commemorating Nation Community Action Month were also recieved by mayors and city officials of the City of Wilmington, New Castle County Government, City of Dover, Kent County Levy Court, Sussex County Council, and the Town of Georgetown.

Why does Community Action work?

Because our unique board structure and positive relationships with state and local officials bring together community residents and government for good.

IMPACT: Every year, First State assists more than 10,000 low-income Delawareans with its full spectrum of programs and services that promote self-sufficiency and improve the health of our communities.

Giving Others A Voice

First State embraces diversity, promotes justice, advocates for the hopeless, and gives voice to those who previously had no voice. Earlier this year, First State partnered with the Delaware State Human Relations Commission to host a Black History movie night featuring the film, SELMA. More than one hundred students and adults watched the presentation. After watching "SELMA", students wrote essays addressing topics around voting rights and civil liberties. First State and the Human Relations Commission sponsored the SELMA essay writing contest and held a presentation of winners on May 1.

Community Action:

Embodying the spirit of hope every day as we fight hunger, poverty, and injustice.

Honoring Mothers, Promoting Strong Families

Women play a key role in the building of strong communities and in the lives of fathers, children, and men. Mother's Day was a wonderful opportunity to celebrate and give honor to the women who support our efforts to promote fatherhood and healthy families. On May 9, the second annual Tea @ Two was held in collaboration with the Delaware Fatherhood & Families Coalition.

Making the Most of Every Resource,

Seeing the Best in Every Person.

#BeCommunityAction

Building Safer, Stronger Communities

Empowering and strengthening communities requires team effort. First State engages neighborhood residents, municipalities, partners, and local elected officials in local anti-poverty and relief efforts. On May 18 we collaborated with local officials and residents of Polly Branch, a rural neighborhood in Southern Delaware, in a clean up effort to beautify and improve the safety of the low-income community.

Pictured: Delaware State Representative Rich Collins (District 41) from Millsboro smiles with First State Community Development Specialist Martina Duffy after a long day of work!

Community Action: Working together to end poverty and make our community a better place to live.

Raising Awareness, Support, and Children

We believe that education, job training, and critical life skills are keys to breaking the cycle of poverty and helping youth succeed. First State recognizes the importance of teaching youth the tools to becoming self-sufficient and is committed to helping them develop their full potential through afterschool tutorial assistance, mentoring, life skills development, arts and enrichment activities, job training and employment opportunities, college preparation, asset building, and career planning. These services, offered through First State's community-based programs, help low-income, at-risk youth become well-rounded student leaders who excel in the classroom and in their communities.

On May 14, First State hosted the second annual “It’s a Par-Tee” miniature golf tournament to raise awareness and support for these community-based education programs which benefit more than 500 Delaware youth and their families every year.

“It is harder to fix broken men than raise strong children.”

Frederick Douglas

Bringing Families & Communities Together at the Table

First State beleives in the importance of family and unity. We beleive strong united families help to nurture strong children and united communities. Connecting families and keeping them together is key and is one of the purposes of our monthly community dinners. Every 3rd Thursday of the month, First State sponsors a community dinner where families and individuals enjoy a hearty, healthy meal and receive information on health & nutrition, budget-friendly shopping tips, and other important topics for just $1 per person. On Thursday, May 21, First State held a dinner serving more than 50 guests. Chef Charles Webb, owner of O Taste & See Divine Catering, LLC provided a delicious three course meal while Mary Schaefer from Chatman, LLC gave a powerful presentation about access to health care.

Families who eat together, stay together.

Making Independence a Reality

On May 29, First State's Senior Companion Companion Program (SCP) commemorated National Senior Corps Week (May 18-22, 2015) during their in-service meeting with Sussex County senior volunteers, i.e. senior companions. Program staff thanked more than forty senior companions for their service in helping elderly and disabled clients age with dignity and remain independent in their homes. Joining them in recognizing their service were Georgetown Mayor Bill West--who led the companions in the Senior Corps Pledge--and the newly appointed Georgetown Chief of Police, Randall "RL" Hughes. Read More.

"When faced with older adults in need, I will provide support and compassion so they may age with grace and dignity...I am a Senior Corps Senior Companion volunteer, and I will get things done."

Senior Corps Pledge

“We must open the doors of opportunity.

But we must also equip our people to walk through those doors.”

President L.B. Johnson

First State Community Action Agency is commited to keeping the Promise of Community Action for National Community Action Month & always...

It's about helping people help themselves and each other...that's what we will continue to do!

Community Action Partnership

First State Community Action Agency is among of 1000 Community Action Agencies across the 50 U.S. states commemorating National Community Action month. First State Community Action Agency, who is celebrating its 50th year of service, is the only community action agency in the State of Delaware.

Our agency, like our entire network, strives to create comprehensive solutions to inequality and injustice in your community. Our strength is based on the heart of our staff, and the creativity of our local, state, and Federal partners. We are celebrating National Community Action Month with all organizations who share our collaborative vision.

Community Action works because of our amazing people!

Visit Us

Call 302-856-7761 {ext. 138} to arrange a tour at one of our three locations and learn more about our programs and services empowering low-income individuals, families, and communities towards self-sufficiency.

Support Our Efforts

Help sustain critical services helping Delaware’s struggling families. Your support—whether monetary, in-kind, or volunteer—enables First State to continue helping thousands of individuals and families achieve economic security and live better lives. Call us Toll Free 800-372-2240 to learn how.

Be Community Action

Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter and learn how, together, we can create positive change in our local community. Be Inspired. ‪#BeCommunityAction

#CommunityactionMonth #helpingpeople #empowerment #selfsufficiency #poverty #jobtraining #education #employment #housing #partnership #Casemanagement #youthprograms #seniors #community #Service

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