MASSCAP/Health Foundation ready to support early educators

During the Massachusetts Association for Community Action’s (MASSCAP) public policy briefing at the State House last week, READYGO, a new early education and care workforce development initiative made possible through a planning grant from the Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts (THFCM), was announced. Assisted by evaluators form the Institute for COmmunity Health, MASSCAP will use a research-based approach, working closely with Mount Wachusett Community College and Quinsigamond Commuity College, as well as Worcester Community Action Council (WCAC) and Making Opportunity Count (MOC), to develop both courses and curriculum to be included in early educators’ degree work and certification.  Learn more here.

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$155K donation supports emergency home heating assistance

WCAC received a donation of $155,000 from the United Way of Central Massachusetts directed by National Grid and designated to support the agency’s Emergency Fuel Fund of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), commonly known as heating/fuel assistance.  Read more here.

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Free Tax Prep Program Launched

Worcester Community Action Council (WCAC) today joined the Massachusetts Association for Community Action (MASSCAP) and its colleagues throughout the community action network in kicking off this year’s tax season by launching the annual Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program, celebrating 50 years of the program and the importance of accessing the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Click here for more details.

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February Board Meeting Scheduled

Worcester Community Action Council, Inc. will host its first meeting of its Board of Directors of the new year and 54th Annual Meeting on Monday, February 10, 2020 at 5 p.m. in the WCAC Board Room, Suite 201, 484 Main Street, Worcester. Click here for agenda. Meetings are open to the public.

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2nd Annual Poverty Forum

WCAC will host its 2nd Annual Poverty Forum on Thursday, March 5, 2020, at The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts, featuring keynote speaker Mary Ann Bates, Executive Director of the North American Office of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (JPAL), home of the 2019 Nobel Prize winning researchers recognized for their research and approach to alleviating poverty. Keynote to be followed by dynamic panel discussion. Free to attend but please click here to register.

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UniBank supports WCAC Emergency Fuel Fund

As the Central Massachusetts region faces a ongering, bitter blast of winter cold, Worcester Community Action Council, Inc. was pleased to accept a $20,000 dollar donation from UniBank to support the agency’s Emergency Fuel Fund. Read more here.

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Cornerstone Bank donation to keep WCAC clients warm

Cornerstone Bank recently presented a donation of $40,000 to the Worcester Community Action Council (WCAC). This major financial contribution will go toward assisting local residents with home heating costs. The donation will support the agency’s Emergency Fuel Assistance Fund. Every year, this fund provides critical support to clients who are most vulnerable to high home heating costs and whose needs often extend beyond what they receive in federal assistance. Read more here.

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January 2020 Enews

Kick off 2020 with WCAC! From tax news, beating home heating blues and frosty brews we’ve got all that and more for you in WCAC’s January Enewsletter. Check it out here.

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Community generosity keeps kids warm

Each year WCAC undertakes a Coat Drive in order to provide new winter coats to all of the children enrolled in the agency’s Early Head Start, Head Start, and Healthy Families of Southern Worcester County programs, as well as for the children of the teen parents enrolled in the agency’s Job & Education Center. Read full story here.

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STATEMENT FROM WCAC

In the wake of the murder of Mr. George Floyd, we are still searching for words adequate to express our disgust and horror over the actions of those responsible for his death; our deep sadness for Mr. Floyd’s family, friends and community; and our anger over the repeated dehumanizing and fatal oppressive actions that threaten our nation. On behalf of the Worcester Community Action Council, we unequivocally condemn the police brutality that led to Mr. Floyd’s death. We join the call for justice, unity, peace and reform.

Worcester Community Action Council is directly and indirectly affected by the tragic events in our country that have reopened wounds that were never healed.  Our board of directors, staff and clients feel the impact of these events in deeply personal ways, and struggle with the feelings of fear, mistrust, separation, and anger.  We stand together in solidarity with the thousands of peaceful demonstrators across the country who are demanding justice for Mr. Floyd and an end to the systemic and intentional acts of oppression imposed upon communities of color.  George Floyd is now among countless, precious Black lives lost due to the imbalance of power in this country that has been perpetuated by racism.  Systemic racism must end.  We must hold ourselves accountable as allies to act as a relentless force for positive change.

Community Action was created in 1964 from the efforts of the Civil Rights Movement as part of the federal Economic Opportunity Act in the “War on Poverty”. In our role in the community, WCAC must renew and strengthen our calls for an end to the poverty and inequity that threaten our society.

We will be a strong voice against injustice, oppression and hate by advocating for policies that create equitable access to education, health, social and economic systems.

We will continue to work to stabilize individuals and households through our programs while deepening our resolve to create economic self-sufficiency through financial building blocks.

We will continue our leadership role in the City of Worcester’s Safe and Successful Youth Initiative in partnership with the Worcester Police Department and Worcester Public Schools, recognizing youth employment and education are pathways for success.

We will continue to invest resources in our youngest children across Southern Worcester County from ages zero to five as we help prepare them for long-term success in school and life.

We will use our agency’s purchasing power to support African American, Latinx and Immigrant- owned businesses by purchasing goods and services.

We will support a diverse staff at all levels to work within our own agency staff to examine, change and navigate ourselves and our community into a just and equitable era.

We will listen to the needs of our community and routinely shift our work to address these needs directly.

We will partner with you, and like-minded organizations, to support initiatives that help our community heal, unify, and become stronger.

Together, we can make meaningful reforms, and change the course of the future for our children.

Signed,

Marybeth Campbell, Executive Director                    Noreen Johnson Smith, WCAC Board Chair

Statement endorsed by WCAC Board of Directors 6/2/2020