April 2021
Mark Your Calendar!
NCCAA to Host 2021 Annual Conference May 11-14
Registration is now open for NCCAA’s 2021 annual conference, scheduled for May 11-14. 

The fully virtual event will provide the safest approach for the wellbeing of conference participants, allowing attendees to access the same vibrant programming, impactful networking, and opportunities to reflect and connect over emerging and pressing salient topics for community action professionals.

This year’s theme—Equity Starts Here­—will be reflected in the panel discussions, presentations, and workshops over the four-day event. We look forward to having you join us for this fully online conference and will be reaching out with complete details and the updated program shortly.
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Mandy Cohen
As the secretary of the North Carolina of Health and Human Services, Dr. Mandy Cohen leads the state's COVID-19 response. Dr. Cohen and her team manage and monitor hospital surge, testing, and tracing capacity, PPE availability, and is responsible for the construction of the advanced data infrastructure used in collecting and analyzing key data points to drive decision making.

Secretary Cohen also leads the development of North Carolina policy guidance which informs the actions needed to slow COVID-19 spread. She has made closing the coverage gap in North Carolina a key priority. Her “buying health” agenda heavily focuses on broad drivers of health (often referred to as the social determinants of health). Under Secretary Cohen’s leadership, North Carolina implemented the first-in-the-nation statewide coordinated care network, NCCARE360, to electronically connect those with identified needs to community resources and allow for a feedback loop on the outcome of that connection. This private-public partnership has been a key feature of NC’s COVID response and the backbone of innovative Health Opportunities.

Dr. Mandy Cohen is a graduate of Cornell University, received her medical degree from Yale School of Medicine and she trained in Internal Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital.

We are excited to hear from Dr. Cohen at this year's conference!
Agency News
Brenda's Success Story: More at Home Than Ever
Originally from Lillington, now a resident of Sanford for over 30 years, Brenda King today feels more at home than ever.

In 2017, Brenda was involved in a life-threatening car crash, resulting in serious long-term health challenges. Wheelchair-bound and overweight with limited mobility, Brenda felt trapped inside her home, unable to maneuver to get outdoors. Limited income, medical bills, and other expenses had prohibited her from making the home modifications that could enable her to leave the house.

Following a referral, to Johnston-Lee-Harnett Community Action Agency Brenda learned that she was eligible for assistance through the Healthy Homes Initiative, a partnership between the North Carolina Community Action Association and BlueCross and BlueShield of North Carolina that provides families with home repairs intended to improve their health. Through the initiative, Brenda received a ramp that now gives her more mobility to do things she loves like feeling the sun, gardening, and more easily getting to her doctor’s appointments. Brenda expresses gratitude for the program, “I am so thankful and blessed. This has changed my life and there are no words to tell you how thankful I am.”
Want to share your success stories? Send them to mariah.handy@nccaa.net
Community Action News, Publications and Features
Shelia Arias a single mother of two who resides in Durham is more grateful than ever for the new child tax credit. The new coronavirus relief legislation is so impactful and long overdue that changes the child allowance helping families to reduce their tax bills.

NCCAA Executive Director Sharon Goodson, said the new child tax credit “is the single most impactful legislation strategically targeted to address the needs of low-wealth children and families since President Lyndon B. Johnson’s war on poverty.”

Read more here
Wayne Action Group for Economic Solvency, Inc (WAGES) has been honored with a 2020 Spirit of North Carolina for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Trailblazers award. Presented by the United Way of Wayne County, the award recognizes organizations for exemplary work in their local communities.

WAGES was recognized for setting a standard for remarkable fundraising efforts, educational opportunities, volunteer engagement, and commitment to strategizing plans that combat socioeconomic problems that the United Way confront.

Read more here
The North Carolina Community Action Association, in partnership with Good360 and Garner,
North Carolina Amazon distribution center, has provided more than 40,000 Amazon products to North Carolina low-income families.

Through the program, Amazon provides products to NCCAA for distribution to families across
the state on a monthly basis. Rather than restock returned merchandise, Amazon makes the
products available to nonprofits for direct distribution to families in need.

Community solar has emerged as a popular policy option for states aiming to expand access to solar energy. Community solar programs allow customers to purchase solar-generated electricity from off-site solar facilities through subscriptions or upfront payments, giving people who cannot or prefer not to install rooftop solar a way to participate in the solar economy. 
The NC Department of Transportation is handing out thousands of children's bike helmets to a number of organizations to help prevent brain injuries in children.

NEED has been working hard to help their counties with rental assistance. In three months they have already helped over 800 families with 400 more on a waiting list. The need is great and our friends at NEED are doing everything they can to meet it. Keep up the great work!
FVW Opportunity hosted a Facebook webinar that helped educate the community about the COVID vaccine, but also heard and discussed many of the concerns from the community. The discussion was intended to encourage residents to feel more at ease.
The local scout troop hosted a food drive to help families facing food insecurity. Blue Ridge Opportunity Commission was one of the organizations that received donations from the scouts. What a great way to education the younger generation and help the community!
NEW Grounds Coffee© is coffee with a purpose. When you drink NEW Grounds Coffee© you provide people with NEW opportunities and a NEW start. Through NEW Grounds Coffee© we provide financial support and training opportunities for re-entry efforts across North Carolina.

COVID-19 created a global pandemic that killed millions of people worldwide. As horrifying as that reality is, the pandemic’s true impact is even more far-reaching. Lost jobs, lost wages and business shutdowns created budget constraints causing extreme financial hardship on numerous families. As the pandemic’s impact continues to play out, 17 percent to 19 percent of the region’s adults face food insecurity, compared to the state average of 14 percent, and one in four Cumberland County children is considered to be living in a “food insecure” environment.

Food insecurity—defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) as a lack of consistent access to enough healthy food for an active, healthy life—can be measured in many ways, including worrying about running out of food before your next paycheck, rationing food to ensure that it lasts, or skipping meals altogether. North Carolina has the ninth highest rate of child food insecurity in the nation, impacting nearly 480,000 children. While the COVID-19 pandemic may have served to increase the number of North Carolina food-insecure families, the worst may be yet to come, with more families struggling to keep food on the table. Meanwhile, the state’s food banks, food pantries, and other food assistance programs could become stretched beyond their limits. As supply chain issues continue to create distribution challenges, access to fresh fruits and vegetables will be especially limited.

Community action agencies work at the local, state, and national levels to create positive, long-term change in the social, built, and natural environments of our clients and our communities. NCCAA, in conjunction with agency partner Action Pathways, and the Second Harvest Food Bank, has launched a program to explore solutions to food insecurity issues impacting residents of the Cape Fear region of the state. The new initiative will engage with partners across the business, nonprofit and civic sectors to deliver creative and innovative strategies for the development of pilot programs that can be replicated in other communities. Read more here.

Food insecurity is a key social determinant of health and a driver of health inequalities. Together, we can help eliminate barriers to disparities in our communities. For additional information, contact Elle Evans Peterson at elle.evanspeterson@nccaa.net

Shout out and Congratulations Bobbie Willard, also known to all the children in Avery county as "Ms. Bobbie". Bobbie worked for more than 13 years as a case manager at WAMY where she worked with various populations such as youth, dislocated workers, long-term welfare recipients, families, and chronically homeless folks. Bobbie has also served on the WAMY Board of Directors for many years and has been a partner for the after-school program for many years.

Bobbie says that the beauty of WAMY is that since the '60's they have continually adapted their programs and services to meet the needs of those living in all the small communities that WAMY serves; whether it is housing, childcare, education/training, food insecurity, among other issues. Through the various programs, WAMY offers and coordinates local residents receive a 'hand up' and become thriving members of society. It is also inspiring how many past WAMY clients now work or serve in some capacity for this amazing organization. We are so thrilled to have you as part of our network, Bobbie! And we look forward to your continued contributions to N.C. Community Action network!
NCCAA Events
Join the Fight Against Poverty
Have you ever wanted to be a poverty fighter? Donate to our cause and become a member. We help hundreds of North Carolinians each day! We provide a wide variety of services from self-sufficiency classes to home repairs to education and job training to public transportation and housing. We believe in elevating people, not just giving them a handout. With more than 55+ years of success, we know your money will be put to good use. Donate using the button below! Every dollar helps someone in need.
Become a NCCAA Member!
We are a strong network of 34 agencies and hundreds of members. Our members get all kinds of perks, like discounted tickets, advocacy, free webinar and webinar recordings, discount training, and more! Membership for an individual is as little as $25 a year, and for an organization, it's as little as $300!

If you are a staff member of a Community Action agency, you're already a member! Learn more about the benefits you get just by fighting the good fight with us!
Webinar Training Series
Miss any of the webinars in our series? Email us at info@nccaa.net to get the recording! Recordings are available at no cost to NCCAA members.
Training on Demand
We provide training on-demand based on your specific needs and goals. Whether you want training on ROMA, marketing, human resources, board training, strategic planning, or special topics like secondary trauma and motivational interviewing.

Request a training by emailing info@nccaa.net and tell us what you're looking for!
Funding Opportunities
Deadline: April 2021

The Art of Giving is a collective of women from the Triangle with a mission to fund issues that affect women. To qualify, the organization must provide services in one of the four counties of the Triangle: Chatham, Durham, Orange, and Wake.

Deadline: April 30, 2021

The Foundation primarily supports organizations located or working in the southeast region of the United States. Funding interests include community and economic development, health and human services, and environment and education.

Deadline: May 15, 2021

The Drug Policy Alliance’s Advocacy Grants Program has been making small grants to grassroots organizations working on drug policy reform since 2005. Their funding priorities are guided by DPA’s mission to advance policies and attitudes that best reduce the harms of both drug use and drug prohibition, and to promote the sovereignty of individuals over their minds and bodies.

Deadline: May 21, 2021

By recognizing pioneering solutions and technologies that can change the world, the Zayed Sustainability Prize has rewarded innovators and visionaries whose achievements have furthered the global proliferation of innovation, impactful and inspirational sustainability solutions. The five categories of impact include Health, Food, Energy, Water, and Global High Schools.

Mark Your Calendar
10-11 | NCCAA Pre-Conferences, Virtual
12-14 | NCCAA Conference, Virtual





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