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Friday
May152015

50 Years of CASOKY

On August 20, 1964 President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Economic Opportunity Act which created a variety of programs, including Community Action Agencies, as part of his War on Poverty. He knew then as we know now, that the war against poverty must be won in the field, in every private home, in every public office, from the courthouse to the White House. “Community Action 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 Denise Harlow, National Community Action Partnership CEO. “Agencies are successful every day in helping families achieve economic security. Given that the needs of each family and community are unique, Community Action is able to use a range of resources and programs to meet local needs in creative and impactful ways.”

Community Action of Southern Kentucky was established in 1965 to wage the war on poverty on a personal level in the Barren River Area by promoting self-sufficiency for those of limited income ensuring that all residents are able to live in dignity; by implementing innovative and cost-effective programs to improve the lives and living conditions of the impoverished; by providing support and instruction for everyone in need of assistance; and by being a major voice of reason in establishing welfare system reforms.

Community Action of Southern Kentucky’s statistics underscore the positive impact we’ve had on our neighborhoods. We help countless individuals improve their lives each year by providing them essential services and life-changing opportunities. Last year alone we assisted approximately 20,000 individuals, many of those below the federal poverty level. Over 10,000 households receive energy assistance last year, 761 three and four year olds developed school readiness skills through Head Start, and over 54,000 meals were delivered to seniors in their homes. That is just the scratching the surface at the long lasting impact we make.

Community Action of Southern Kentucky’s success stories are a testament to our measurable results, such as: two previous scholarship winners graduating from college with the skills needed to earn a living wage, a 37 year old single mom with heart complications was able to afford to go to the doctor and receive needed surgery because of health coverage through Kynect, the story of a student who graduated high school and his mom wrote a letter thanking the Foster Grandparent Program for providing a Foster Grandparent that saw her son’s potential at his former elementary school… There are so many more stories.  

Despite experiencing budget cuts, shrinking resources, and increased demands for services during these challenging economic times, Community Action of Southern Kentucky has been remarkably successful assisting the low-income veterans, senior citizens, families, children, students, and everyone in between of the 10 county Barren River Area to achieve and maintain economic security because as Melissa Weaver, CEO/Executive Director attests: “Our staff is committed to their task of replacing disadvantages with opportunities because it is right, because it is wise, and because, in our hearts and minds we believe it is possible to conquer poverty in our lifetime.”

Community Action Month is a great time to showcase our programs to our community and gather support for us to be able to keep our promise as a Community Action Agency. During this month, we will host our 9th Annual Charity Golf Classic to raise funds to help provide our services to those confronting issues of poverty. On May 21, 2015, we hope to raise $10,000 for our most underfunded programs for children and seniors. Melissa Weaver urges people to join the war on poverty, “If you are unable to golf with us this year or sponsor and you still would like to give, go to our website and click donate. Any amount will help make a difference in the lives of the families we serve. There are so many people who need our resources, especially our children and seniors. I welcome anyone to come talk with us about how you can volunteer or help us make Southern Kentucky a better place to live.”

FOOTER: Based in Washington, DC, the Community Action Partnership provides training and other services to more than 1,000 Community Action Agencies across America that help 20 million low-income people and families achieve economic stability and improve their lives. For more information, visit www.communityactionpartnership.com or follow the organization on Twitter, @CAPartnership

Community Action is funded, in part, under a contract with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services with funds from the Community Services Block Grant Act of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

 

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