Blog Post: Our Community In ActionPosted May 20, 2014
(Photo: Katie with her Dad) This week’s blog post is by Katie Fike, CEO’s Director of Strategic Planning.
May is an exciting time of the year at CEO! Not only do we see the days getting longer and feel the air getting warmer, but it is also a month of celebration! May is Community Action Month – and as the Community Action agency serving Rensselaer County, we see this month as our opportunity to showcase all that we do throughout the year for our community.
First, I should probably back up and help you to understand what Community Action is really all about. Community Action began in 1964 as a grassroots effort to address the issues associated with poverty on the local level. When President Lyndon Johnson declared a “War on Poverty”, he did so understanding that the larger government entity could not address the issue of poverty on its own. So instead, he designated funds to distribute directly to communities. The agencies created through this effort became known as Community Action agencies, and it is from this important moment in history that CEO was born.
Community Action continues to this day through agencies like CEO. We are a part of a network of over 1,100 Community Action Agencies nationwide. The great thing about being a Community Action agency is that we work within our own community to identify local solutions, and do so in partnership with local and county governments as well as our fellow community organizations. Further, we complete a comprehensive assessment of the needs that exist within our community to ensure we are working with our partners to address those needs.
Partnership is a hallmark of Community Action, as we recognize that the needs of our community cannot be addressed by one agency alone. It is through partnership with local government and community organizations that we are able to ensure the issues facing our residents are addressed.
Partnership is also at the center of our celebration of Community Action. For the second consecutive year, we as an agency have committed to volunteering throughout our community with our many partners. Our staff will be dedicating their time to support organizations like Unity House, Capital District Community Gardens, Ronald McDonald House, as well as our local municipalities performing park clean up and more. This is our effort to further our action in the community to make a difference for our customers and neighbors.
Community Action Month is our opportunity to showcase our many programs and services at the heart of our service to the community. It is also a chance to educate the general public about the issues associated with poverty and how CEO works in our community to support our most vulnerable populations.
I encourage you to take the time to learn more about what CEO is up to. Check us out on Facebook or visit our website. There is always something going on at CEO, where we are working to change lives and improve our community.