Describe your nonprofit’s mission.
MACAA’s mission, in a nutshell, is to help people move from poverty to self-reliance through education.
What need in our community brought about the creation of your nonprofit?
Our nonprofit was created more than 50 years ago as part of President Johnson’s War on Poverty. The promise of community action is to change people’s lives and to give them hope, thereby improving communities.
How has your nonprofit made a difference in our community?
MACAA has helped countless children and families throughout its 50-year history. Head Start provides the opportunity for children of low-income families to enter Kindergarten ready to learn. Hope House, our transitional housing program, has helped many families move from homelessness to self-reliance. Project Discovery provides the support that low-income students need to pursue college, often as the first in their family to do so. Our Rural Outreach offices in Fluvanna, Nelson, and Louisa provide emergency services to people in crisis, paying electric bills and rent as well as providing clothing and food.
How can community members help you achieve your mission?
We partner with various community organizations such as the public schools in Albemarle, Fluvanna, Nelson, and Louisa. We also work with Region 10, which provides us with the Al’s Pal’s program as well as with assistance for children with mental health issues. Our Rural Outreach program works with the power companies to distribute Energy Share funds, and it refers people to various community service agencies in our area. In Fluvanna, there is a close relationship between MACAA and the Christian Aid Foundation.
Tell us a story that has come out of your work.
Christopher was a three-year-old living in an unstable single-parent family—one with an unfortunate history of substance abuse and domestic violence. Christopher’s initial screening assessments identified a speech and language delay. When Christopher started preschool, he had poor social skills, an inability to concentrate, and he lacked the language skills to process information and to communicate with other children.
Despite this challenging start to the school year, Christopher was provided with a rich and stimulating preschool experience, as well as with specific interventions to manage his various needs, and he made substantial educational improvements, resulting in his being ready for Kindergarten on time two years later. At the same time, the work of the Head Start Family Advocate enabled Christopher’s mother to improve her economic circumstances by furthering her education. She is now well on her way to a Nursing Assistant qualification, and the family is enjoying a sense of stability and seeing their own potential in ways they never had before.
Learn more about Monticello Area Community Action Agency (MACAA)
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