Message from Executive Director 2014/15

 

<<Our governing board Early Childhood Program>>

 

 

This past year has been an exciting one for MDS Community Action Agency. Longtime Executive Director Bill Dubord retired and a new Director was hired. I joined the organization in July of 2015 under the mentorship of the existing director. I was fortunate to be able to learn the ropes before Bill rode off into the sunset at the end of 2015. With all that, there is one overriding feeling: pride in being part of an organization that has long been a huge resource for so many residents in our three-county service area.

Through the years I’ve had the opportunity to learn about the Community Action Agency, first through my tenure at Michigan State University Extension and, later, as I served on the CAA Governing Board. As my knowledge of this agency grew, so did my appreciation. While I may be the new “leader” of this organization, one of my main goals is to be truly supportive of all our employees. In helping our workers, my goal is to provide them all the tools and training they need to provide the best possible service to all of our Early Childhood Program students, senior citizens, volunteers, and people who have fallen on hard times, helping them keep their homes warm and kitchen shelves full.
MDS Community Action Agency’s total budget was $8,647,240 in fiscal year 2014-15. We provided service to our communities through our weatherization program, heat assistance, senior volunteer programs, senior centers, nutrition program, personal care assistance, adult day services and our early childhood program (which includes Head Start and Early Head Start).
The Head Start/Early Head Start Program had full enrollment. The program also provided services to other 4-year-old children in the community through preschool options. We provided tax credit assistance to 330 elderly individuals through our senior centers. We repaired 54 family homes, making them more energy efficient. Our senior volunteer programs provided 124,137 hours of service throughout our communities, including area elementary schools, hospitals, nursing homes, blood mobiles, and homebound seniors, just to name a few sites. We also provided heat assistance during our extremely cold winter to 605 individuals. We continue to partner in our communities through local community collaborative councils, including local planning bodies for homeless services, Early Childhood Councils and the Family Coordinating Councils. It is our goal to stay close to the ground in our communities to monitor and meet needs of working and often times struggling families and individuals.
I have spent the past nine months meeting with CAA administrative staff, learning many of the ins and outs of the organization. The Board of Directors has been a great inspiration and support in my transition. The Board of Directors is committed to bringing the best possible services to our three-county service area of Menominee, Delta and Schoolcraft. With the help of all CAA employees, our goal will be to both maintain services and, when necessary, change with the times, reaching out to new potential clients and better serving the ones we have.