April 2019 - In This Issue:
"What you do makes a difference - and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make."  Jane Goodall

This newsletter is dedicated to the many difference-makers in our community. As we ready to celebrate our 13th Annual Action Hero Awards, honoring a collection of individuals and corporations who have gone above and beyond to make a difference in the lives of those WCAC serves, we look back at the incredible legacy of those who have made a difference in supporting the agency in its mission to move people to economic self-sufficiency.

We celebrate each and every one of those who helped make a difference in bringing our Webster Head Start Center from a dream to a reality. We celebrate our incredible VITA volunteers who give selflessly of their time to make a real and impactful difference on the lives of low and moderate-income households throughout our region. And we celebrate our elected officials who make a difference everyday by working to support the programs and services which make a difference in the lives of so many.

As you may know, I will be retiring from my post as Executive Director at the end of May. This is a busy time as the agency readies for the transition. And while I leave with mixed emotions, I know I leave the agency in the capable hands of a dedicated Board of Directors and my amazing team who are committed to making a difference in our region every single day. I consider myself truly blessed to have served at WCAC for the past 13 years.







Jill C. Dagilis

Executive Director

The Year That Was

Check out WCAC's 2018 Annual Report

Click image above to access FlipBook controls. Special thanks to PENTA Marketing for their design expertise and support!
Executive Director Search Underway

The WCAC Board of Director has engaged the services of Koya Leadership Partners to direct the search for the post of Executive Director. Additional details about the search and candidate profile can be found here.

Be a Head Start Hero!

Help Turn Up the Heat for those struggling with home heating bills!

Make a difference in the life a young person today!

Support WCAC programs with a tax-deductible donation!
WCAC is Hiring

WCAC presently has openings available in both our Southbridge-based Head Start Center and Healthy Families of Southern Worcester County program. Click image above for further details.
WCAC currently has vacancies on its Board of Directors.  Interested applicants over the age of eighteen shall be and/or represent low income residents within WCAC's service area of the City of Worcester and 45 surrounding towns within Central Massachusetts.  Board meetings are held six times per year on Monday evenings, and attendance is mandatory at no less than 4 meetings annually.  Participation on a subcommittee of the board is encouraged.  More information about WCAC's Board available here.

Interested applicants may forward their resume and letter of interest to WCAC's Nominating Committee for consideration.  
Contact Terra Oliveira for further information.


Support WCAC when you shop!

Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to Worcester Community Action Council, Inc whenever you shop on AmazonSmile.

We did it!
Webster Head Start center now open
Special thanks to everyone who helped make the agency's new Webster Head Start Center a reality! What an incredible morning we had on March 1st celebrating with our great community funders, supporters and partners. We are most grateful to our elected officials for their strong advocacy and great leadership - special thanks to Congressman Jim McGovern, Senator Ryan Fattman and Representative Joe McKenna. See photos from the grand opening celebration here.

The project represents the largest capital campaign undertaken in the agency's 54-year history. WCAC gratefully acknowledges the generous private financial support received from the greater community including the Janet Malser Humanities Trust, Webster Five, Randy & Donna Becker, the Remillard Family Foundation, Mary DeFeudis, Wyman Gordon, Steven & Leona Joseph, UNUM, the Berkshire Bank Foundation, Franklin Square House Foundation, Webster-Dudley Food Share, Inc., Dale Allen & Meredith Galena, Strada Educational Network, DCU (Digital Federal Credit Union) and bankHometown. Lamoureaux Pagano Architects provided substantial in-kind support throughout the duration of the construction project which was delivered by Madigan Construction. Take a look back at the construction progress here.

The new center features one 18-slot classroom on the lower level, and two 18-slot classrooms and one 17-slot classroom on the first floor (main level) to serve a total of 71 children. The main level has  two offices, a reception area, two storage areas, and several restrooms. The lower level has one classroom, a multi-purpose room, one office, a conference room, a kitchen, and several restrooms. Outside the main entrance is a 2,700 square foot fenced play area. WCAC hopes to install a play structure and add enhancements to the black-topped play space later this spring.
Community Action Heroes
13th Annual Awards to recognize local heroes
Worcester Community Action Council, Inc. will celebrate its 13th Annual Community Action Hero Awards on Thursday, May 16th at Mechanics Hall in Worcester. 

Established to honor exemplary individuals and organizations who have supported WCAC and its mission over the past year, our 2019 Action Hero honorees will include: Fundacion MAPFRE/MAPFRE Insurance for its financial support of our Head Start nutrition program and significant volunteer commitment to the agency; Lamoureux Pagano Architects and FW Madigan Construction for their generosity and support throughout the construction of WCAC's new Webster Head Start Center; and our Bank On Worcester County partners - Bay State Savings Bank, Berkshire Bank, Cornerstone Bank, DCU, Fidelity Bank and UniBank, for their leadership in addressing the needs of unbanked households in our region. Please join us in honoring these remarkable community action heroes!

This year's keynote speaker will be WCAC Executive Director Jill Dagilis, who  will be retiring from the agency at the end of May 2019. We look forward to celebrating Jill's remarkable leadership, dedication and spirit of community. 
The Action Hero Awards event enables the agency to raise critical dollars to support WCAC's continued efforts in helping our vulnerable neighbors move to economic self-sufficiency. Sponsorship opportunities for the breakfast are still  available. Individual tickets can be purchased online for $50 per person.
Tax Man Cometh
Final push for Volunteer Income Tax Assistance
The Worcester Free Tax Service Coalition is celebrating its 17th year of providing free tax preparation and asset building services to low income working taxpayers throughout Central Massachusetts! Through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, IRS-certified volunteers prepare taxes and specifically look for tax credits the household may be eligible for, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Child Tax Credit (CTC) and other credits. Utilizing the free tax preparation services allows families to retain their full refund, avoiding typical preparation fees which can often run into the hundreds of dollars.

WCAC is among the Coalition's city-wide members, a collaboration of businesses, financial institutions and non-profit organizations, who work to promote free income tax credit benefits to low-and-moderate-income working individuals and families. It is an important a strategy to build household assets and increase economic self-sufficiency. WCAC operates one of four VITA sites in the City of Worcester. Thanks to a grant from the United Way of Southbridge, Stubridge, Charlton, WCAC expanded services to include a site in Southbridge, which served 106 clients this year alone! Limited appointments are still available at WCAC's Worcester site  only through April 16th. Check out scheduling options online.
Advocacy in Action
Find the value of your voice
Meetings with senior staff from Congressman Jim McGovern's office in DC.
Having sustained significant funding cuts this year to fuel assistance and facing proposed additional federal reductions in resources for other core services, advocacy continues to be a top priority for community action agencies. Over the past several months WCAC has sent representatives to participate in advocacy days in Washington DC to focus on Head Start funding, Fuel Assistance funding, and overall support for the community action network nationwide. 

Advocacy at the State House in Boston
At the state level, WCAC and our colleagues from MASSCAP were successful in securing a $30M line item within the state supplemental budget for fuel assistance. The matter has passed both the Senate and House and (at this writing) now awaits the Governor's signature. We encourage you to reach out to voice your support for these critically needed resources! Click here to contact the Governor's Office by phone or email. 

In the coming weeks as the House and then Senate deliberate the state budget, we will continue to advocate for additional line items critical to specific programs and services. Please join us in recognizing the importance and value of your voice to support our neighbors in need. Find your legislator here.

WCAC: The Antipoverty Agency for Central Massachusetts

Helping people move to economic self-sufficiency through programs, partnerships and advocacy.

Serving the City of Worcester and neighboring communities of Auburn, Blackstone, Boylston, Brimfield, Brookfield, Charlton, Clinton, Douglas, Dudley, East Brookfield, Hardwick, Holden, Holland, Hopedale, Hubbardston, Grafton, Leicester, Mendon, Milford, Millbury, Millville, Monson, New Braintree, North Brookfield, Northborough, Northbridge, Palmer, Oakham, Oxford, Paxton, Rutland, Shrewsbury, Southbridge, Spencer, Sterling, Sturbridge, Sutton, Upton, Uxbridge, Wales, Warren, Webster, West Boylston, West Brookfield, Westborough.