#GivingTuesday is a global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world. This year, #GivingTuesday will that will take place on December 1, 2020.
This #GivingTuesday, we are asking you to join us in our mission to end poverty in our communities. Your participation will help Tri County Community Action provide short and long-term services to our communities’ most vulnerable families.
Ensure children are ready to become lifelong learners
Early intervention ensures that children are set up to succeed. This starts with prenatal care for mothers through programs like WIC that promote a healthy pregnancy. This also includes education leading up to and including preschool, through programs like Parents as Teachers, Triple P: Positive Parenting Program, and ACT: Raising Safe Kids. These programs promote parental skills, parent teaching and aid school readiness which is key for future achievement.
While early intervention has substantial success, the effects are not long-lived if public schools are not dedicated to creating an environment for low-income students to prosper. Quality education, especially in high poverty areas, is critical for student achievement. Access to healthcare is also important to ensure students can maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.
There are over 18,600 children living in poverty in Cumberland, Dauphin, and Perry Counties. That is 18,600 future working members of our communities who are at risk of falling short of living financially, emotionally, and physically healthy lives. To help reduce future poverty in the Tri County area, we must invest in the children of today. We have the power to help them reach their full potential.
Provide low-income families with access to clean and fresh food.
Number of individuals who experience hunger in our community:
Perry County: 4,130 people
Cumberland County: 23,080 people
Dauphin County: 35,310 people
Total: 62,520 people
A lack of food security contributes to the difficulty of climbing up the mountain. Not having consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy lifestyle makes achieving financial stability even more difficult. A lack of healthy nutrients can lead to health complications that require medical attention or time away from work, leaving families without stable income to pay for other essential day-to-day expenses. When daily expenses are not affordable, expenses compound and financial stability becomes less obtainable.
TCCA helps improve food security in our communities by delivering food boxes to seniors in Middletown, PA, and creating the Allison Hill Farmers Market (AHFM). The AHFM to provide the best of local produce, plants, eggs, and dairy to our communities. Enthusiasm, education, SNAP Market Match, and urban growers are what make the AHFM unique. The market accepts WIC vouchers, SNAP benefits, and even matched SNAP dollars up to $10.
Connect parents to the resources they need to manage their household
In Pennsylvania, 12.8% of citizens are living in poverty – making less than $24,600 annually for a family of 4. Nearly half of them are living in “extreme poverty” with an annual household income under $12,300.
A family of 4 in the Harrisburg/Carlisle metro area needs to bring in $94,665 annually to afford a modest yet adequate standard of living. A family in poverty makes over 70% less.
Connecting low-income parents to resources to manage their household helps stabilize families and provide a happy and safe life that drives economic growth, creates opportunity, and sets the next generation up for success.
Programs like 24/7 Dads equip men with the resources they need to become great dads. Our curriculum focuses on building up the man first, focusing on factors like masculinity, discipline, work-family balance, relationship building, and parenting and co-parenting skills. We help them build on their strengths and increase their confidence while showing them new "life hacks" that help them succeed in being better parents and partners.
ACT: Raising Safe Kids is an early prevention intervention focusing on parents and caregivers of young children. Based on research that indicates that effective parenting is a critical factor to prevent youth behavior problems, the APA (American Psychological Association) created and launched ACT/ Raising Safe Kids. The purpose of ACT is to teach positive parenting skills and practices that help create stable environments and relationships that allow children to thrive. ACT also provides caregivers with a supportive social network and supports families to create safe communities for their children.
About63% of poor Americans who are eligible to work, are working. The other 37% are not working or seeking a job.
Programs like S.T.A.R.T. and Getting Ahead in the Workplace help individuals in our community gain workplace skills.
S.T.A.R.T. is a program that prepares individuals with everything needed to start or restart a career. From setting long-term career goals, to beginning a path to success through a partnership with TCCA and Harrisburg Area Community College. Through S.T.A.R.T. individuals receive training in WorkKeys (Career Readiness Assessment) as well as skill building in interpersonal relationships, team work, stress management, emotional intelligence, conflict resolution, and decision making.
Getting Ahead in the Workplace is a class that can be hosted by employers, designed to help employees become more successful in the job they have, and more employable in any job in the future.
Engage residents in the revitalization of their neighborhoods
The most effective way to reduce poverty is through revitalizing low-income communities through community-based efforts.
Community-based efforts engage the members of the community to help them capitalize on strengths, learn new skills, and become agents of change in their own neighborhoods.
Tri County Community Action's Neighborhood Revitalization team believes community change starts and ends with the involvement of the entire community. The community must be engaged in setting priorities and actions to create lasting change residents can feel and sustain. TCCA has come up with creative ways to engage the community while gaining valuable feedback. They worked with partners to develop a scavenger hunt app where players could walk throughout Harrisburg City playing the game while TCCA collected their feedback.
TCCA was able to hold its annual Great Harrisburg Litter Cleanup later in the year. Roughly 200 volunteers disposed of 11 tons of trash and 598 tires that were cluttering our streets!
“One of the best ways to disrupt and permanently break the cycle of poverty is through education and investing in our youth. Tri County Community Action is thankful to be part of the solution, and we are committed to working in partnership with the Harrisburg School District to meet the educational needs of children.”
Executive Director Jennifer Wintermyer
Total number of individuals in our community living in poverty: