Neighbors helping neighbors

Published 11:26 am Wednesday, May 8, 2019

May is Community Action Month and STEPS Inc. is honored to serve this wonderful community.

As your community action agency, our mission is to lead coordinate, create and deliver quality opportunities to impact self-sufficiency and reduce poverty throughout the region. We are called to reach out to those in critical need and we are dedicated to helping people help themselves and each other.

Over 1,000 community action agencies across America have served more than 15 million people this past year, aiding in creating opportunities and transforming the lives of their neighbors while helping to make communities stronger and families thrive. We are pleased to be a part of this network.

STEPS was designated as a community action agency in 2014 to assist individuals and families in Amelia, Buckingham, Cumberland, Lunenburg, Nottoway and Prince Edward counties. Our area of service footprint includes 17 counties spanning from Goochland to Mecklenburg.

Through your help and support, our partnership is making a difference. Last year, STEPS helped 1,967 individuals in the communities we serve.

With your support, for example, STEPS has been able to help an elderly couple with no place to stay connect with a shelter in a neighboring community; assist a young couple with three children facing an electricity cut-off notice through Energy Share (a partnership with Dominion Energy); connect seniors through the Senior Community Services Employment Program with job training opportunities; provide employment for citizens with mental or physical challenges; assist the Town of Farmville, Prince Edward County, Hampden-Sydney and area businesses in reaching recycling goals; keep confidential information safe when destroyed through our secure document shredding operation; and help children and families overcome poverty barriers through Head Start.

We are thankful that local, regional, state and federal partnerships, along with caring individuals, support our programs. This is the lifeblood of any community action agency and we are blessed to have a community that cares and is engaged in our mission.

Community action agencies have a tripartite board structure that includes representatives from the low-income community, locally elected officials and public and private stakeholders. We appreciate all of those who voluntarily serve on our board and give us valuable feedback and direction. Volunteers strengthen our connection with the communities we serve and those we help.

We also appreciate the financial contributions counties, towns and individuals who invest in our mission. We take seriously the trust you have placed in us to ensure your donations are used wisely. Thank you for recognizing the need of your community and partnering with us.

Sharon Harrup serves as the president and CEO of STEPS Inc. STEPS’ corporate offices are located at 225 Industrial Park Road, Farmville. For more information on any program, contact STEPS at (434) 315- 5909.