May 2021
Happy National Community Action Month
This month we celebrate Community Action Month during which we highlight the critical role that our community action agencies (CAAs) have played in creating pathways to opportunity and prosperity for vulnerable families.

This May, we're celebrating Community Action Month with an Equity Starts Here challenge. This educational initiative will help participants understand equity, how it applies to their lives and how to create more equitable families and communities. Participants will receive daily emails with reading or watching material and discussion questions. Help us build more equitable communities and celebrate the work our network has already done by joining our challenge!
Agency News
Blue Ridge Opportunity Commission answers the need for
COVID-19 Emergency Assistance
COVID-19 has affected our nation in ways unimaginable. Citywide shutdowns, higher rates of unemployment, and reduced work hours have left thousands of North Carolina families in financial distress. With the significantly increased need, our community action agencies have stepped up to help their communities survive as the state works to bounce back from the economic impact of the pandemic.

Blue Ridge Opportunity Commission (BROC), located in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, serves low-income households in Alleghany, Ashe, and Wilkes counties. It is one of many community action agencies in the state to have recently received supplemental funds from NCCAA to provide supplemental support to those reeling from the effects of the pandemic.
Want to share your success stories? Send them to [email protected]

Looking for a new career opportunity? We are excited to share two positions with Experiment in Self- Reliance, Inc.(ESR): Finance Director & Finance and Grants Manage.All are encouraged to apply and share with your networks. Please look for more information for all of their open positions here.
Community Action News, Publications and Features
We have exciting news regarding the Big Pop Up™! We have successfully filed an application with the United States Patent Office (USPTO) to trademark our signature event. While the application is under review by the USPTO, we can designate use of the name The Big Pop Up (TBPU) as ‘pending trademark’ with the small capital letters TM

Read more here
Tina Ray, Community Service Block Grant Director for Johnston-Lee-Harnett Community Action, shared her thoughts on equity during a recent “Justice Series: United for Johnston County” panel discussion. Hosted by the United Way of the Greater Triangle, the virtual event explored justice-oriented solutions for rural North Carolina communities.

View a recording of the discussion.

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.

Each year, more than 600,000 individuals return to society after serving time in federal and state prisons, and another 11 million individuals cycle through local jails. Nearly a quarter of all Americans has had some encounter with the criminal justice system—many for relatively minor, non-violent offenses, sometimes from decades in the past.

Read more here
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.

Read more here
NCCAA has partnered with the United Way of the Greater Triangle on RIDE UNITED NC--- a statewide initiative launched last month to provide low-income residents with free roundtrip transportation to vaccine sites. Through the initiative, qualifying individuals can request transportation by calling
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.

Read more here

Social determinants of health (SDOH) refer to a broad range of social and environmental conditions that affect health and well-being, including access to safe housing, healthy foods, educational opportunities, and healthcare services, among others. Growing up in poverty limits access to many of these fundamental needs and creates barriers to long-term health. According to 2019 U.S. Census Bureau data, more than one in five, or roughly 500,000 children in North Carolina live in poverty. The state’s poverty rate for children under the age of five was even higher, at 22%. While the federal poverty guideline in 2019 was $25,750 for a family of four, research suggests that most families need an income of about twice the Federal Poverty Limit (FPL) to meet basic needs.

Eliminating the barriers to childhood poverty remains one of the best solutions for success. Community action agencies have been working toward fulfilling this goal for nearly six decades. Research suggests that supportive, responsive relationships with caring adults as early in life as possible can prevent or reverse the damaging effects of a toxic stress response. By teaching a child resilience coping strategies, it is more likely that the child can respond to negative situations in a healthy way, reducing or eliminating unfavorable outcomes. Read more here.

For additional information, contact Elle Evans Peterson at [email protected]

Shout out and Congratulations to Nancy Lookabill who was hired in 1966 as a bookkeeper/secretary for the newly created crafts program featuring local craftspeople from the four counties. In 1974, she was appointed WAMY's next finance officer. Nancy says she thoroughly enjoyed her role until retirement.

Some of Nancy's memorable moments include when Green Eagle Transportation was contracted to provide transportation to the actors and crew depicted in the movie "Where the Lilies Bloom," which was filmed in Watauga County. In 1967, WAMY helped citizens of Avery County get running water, Nancy was a major component of the project and remembers shaking hands with Reverend Billy Graham, a prominent Southern Baptist minister during the project celebration. Additionally, Nancy worked with WAMY to create the Unique Boutique of Boone to sell donated items intended to benefit clients and several local programs.

WAMY appreciates Nancy's service and hard work while she was at WAMY and beyond. Thank you Nancy for truly making a difference in your local community!

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 [email protected] 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 [email protected] and tell us what you're looking for!
Funding Opportunities
Deadline: Ongoing

Losing a loved one during the pandemic is not easy. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is dedicated to helping individuals before, during, and after disasters. FEMA is providing financial assistance for COVID-19 related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2021.

Deadline: June 1, 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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