GALLIPOLIS — Gallia-Meigs Community Action Agency met for its bi-monthly meeting, this time in Gallipolis, recently to welcome new Executive Director Lora Rawson and discuss upcoming projects.
“We have a strategic plan we actually approved at the meeting,” said Rawson. “We’re always looking to provide the best customer service that we can and we’re looking to institute some new things like polling people and seeing if we’re meeting their needs. It’s ongoing.”
According to information provided by Rawson,”Gallia-Meigs Community Action Agency is a private, non-profit organization that focuses on assisting qualified people in their efforts to become self-sufficient by providing services to enable them to improve their financial, physical, mental and social level, and by operating programs designed to motivate individuals to help themselves.”
This happens through the organization of planned and coordinated programs designed to serve the community such as the agency’s Home Energy Assistance Progam, Emergency Home Energy Assistance, Plus-Percentage of Income Payment Plan Plus, Home Weatherization Assistance program, non-emergency transportation, the Community Housing Improvement Program and house assistance grants.
For example, home weatherization helps provide energy audits and looks at owner-occupied homes with families meeting 150 percent less than the federal poverty level and looks for ways to make the residence’s energy consumption more efficient.
“It can help with things like insulation or furnace repair and replacement,” said Rawson.
“Part of our strategic plan this year is to increase our web presences as we do have some social media and we want to bring those together,” said the executive director.
The group is also involved in some rebranding.
Community action information states that,” Community Action Agencies began as part of President John F. Kennedy’s ‘New Fronter’ to help all Americans to become more self-sufficient and self-sustaining. In August 1964, it evolved into an integral component of the ‘War on Poverty’ during the administration of President Lyndon Baines Johnson and has continued on into the 21st Century, strengthening communities nationwide by helping those in need break free of the shackles of dependency.”
“I started my career in social services (with the agency) in the 90s,” said Rawson. “From there, I finished my education and worked a few other places and finished my masters in education from Ohio Valley University. When the position came up, I’d lived in Meigs County and was working at the Corporation for Ohio Appalachian Development (an overseeing organization of area Community Action Agencies). This was like a coming home for me when it opened up. These are my neighbors and communities that we’re serving now.”
Rawson also received her undergraduate degree at Ohio Valley University with a major in business administration.
Gallia-Meigs Community Action is located in Cheshire and can be reached at 740-367-7341 or 740-992-5266.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.