Community Action Month Highlights

First State Community Action Agency Recognizes Community Action Month, 53 Years of Service in Delaware

First State Community Action Agency is celebrating Community Action Month, dedicated to recognizing the success of the national Community Action Network. America’s Community Action Agencies connect millions of children and families to greater opportunity, transforming their lives and making our communities — and our nation— stronger.

This month, First State will be engaging in programs and events that showcase our innovative work throughout local communities in Delaware. “Community Act ion Month is a wonderful time to honor and celebrate the impact Community Action has in the lives of families and communities across the country,” stated Bernice Edwards, Executive Director.

“The Community Action Partnership Network offers insight to leaders looking to understand what is working on the ground to help families thrive—creating smarter solutions that can be put to work within communities across the country.”

Edwards continued, “This past year, our agency has served almost 6,000 families in Delaware and empowered them to attain self-sufficiency.

More than 10,000 Delawareans benefit yearly from the support and services First State provides. In the past year, First State has helped 418 Delawareans obtain meaningful employment and 184 individuals attain certified skills training. First State has provided academic support, mentoring, and skills training to more than 476 youth, as well as compassionate assistance to over 200 home-bound seniors in the state. Over 460 individuals have received housing counseling with the goal of attaining home ownership status and 66 foreclosures were avoided. 653 individuals have dedicated more than 5,398 volunteer hours in revitalizing and improving local neighborhoods. The agency has worked to provide consumer energy education and to make energy efficient home improvements and eliminate unsafe hazards in more than 1,140 homes. Furthermore, First State has assisted 285 individuals with case management support and 3,647 individuals in crisis with emergency services such as food, rent and utilities assistance.

“Our work changes lives and strengthens our entire community.”

To celebrate its success and raise awareness in the community, First State will host a number of events and activities including the 5th annual miniature golf tournament on May 22nd in Rehoboth Beach and the Senior Companion Volunteer Recognition ceremony on May 23rd in Dover, Delaware. We hope to engage community partners, donors, volunteers, and the community at large in our efforts to fight poverty, empower low-income residents, and improve local neighborhoods. For more information on these and other events and activities, visit

First State Community Action Agency was established in 1965 to create opportunities in Sussex County, Delaware. First State expanded its services in 1993 to serve low-income residents in Kent and New Castle counties, providing a range of services from housing counseling, case management, emergency services, job training and employment, youth after-school, and senior programs.

First State is a member of the Community Action Network, originally created in 1964.


"We love Community Action" On May 1st, the Delaware House of Representatives presents a tribute to First State Community Action Agency recognizing the month of May as Community Action Month in Delaware. Pictured (l-r): First State's Vice Chair Anne Farley, Ph.D, Delaware State Reps. James "JJ" Johnson and Ruth Briggs King, First State Executive Director Bernice Edwards, and Rep. Harvey Kenton.

Maryland Community Action Partnership Conference: First State's Representatives, Dr. Sandi Hagans-Morris (right) and Carla Morton (left) pictured with David Bradley (center), Co-Founder and Chief Executive Director of the National Community Action Foundation, at the Maryland Community Action Partnership Conference earlier this month. Both Hagans-Morris and Morton presented at this year's annual conference held in Annapolis, MD.

"Happy Huggy Heart Day" May 8th Youth in First State's Afterschool Program took a moment to show their love with colorful displays of the community action promise logo, the Huggy Heart. We promise to care and serve.

Thank you City of Dover: Dover Mayor Robin Christiansen and the Dover City Council give tribute to First State CAA recognizing the month of May as Community Action Month in Dover. Pictured: Dover Mayor Robin Christiansen (left) with First State Communications Manager Kaneisha Trott (right).

"Now We're Cooking" Up Success: Fifteen (15) Milford and Indian River high school students, all participants in First State's "Now We're cooking" culinary arts program, proudly received certificates of completion this week during a celebration held at the Central Sussex Training Center in Georgetown, May 14 & 15.

Sussex County Declares May as CAA Month: Sussex County Council declares May as Community Action Month on May 15. Pictured (l-r): First State's Kaneisha Trott, Executive Director Bernice Edwards, and Sussex County Council President, Michael Vincent.

National Pizza Party Day: "Par-tee" volunteers, Kaneisha Trott and Robin Bostic, took a delicious pizza break as they prepare for the agency's mini golf tourney on May 22. Yummy!!

Par-Tee for a Cause: On May 22, First State Community Action hosted the 5th Annual "It's a Par-tee" miniature golf tournament at Jungle Jims (Rehoboth Beach) in support of community youth programs serving underprivileged youth.

Senior Companions making independence a reality! On May 23rd, First State's Senior Companion Program held a Volunteer Luncheon, recognizing eighty (80) Delaware senior volunteers for their service to the elderly. Lieutenant Governor Bethany Hall-Long joined the celebration as the keynote speaker.

First State Community Action Agency’s mission is to work towards the elimination of poverty and lessen the effects poverty has on people of low-income.

First State Community Action Agency Inc. is a non-profit, anti-poverty organization dedicated to helping people help themselves to a better life. As one of Delaware’s leading human service organizations, First State administers a variety of individual, family and community-based services to help low-income persons achieve self-sufficiency and economic security. Services are provided in all three Delaware counties: Kent, Sussex and New Castle. For more information about First State, please visit us at or call Toll Free 1-800-372-2240.

#CommunityActionWorks #WeR1000Strong #DoMore24DE

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