Neshoba County, Miss., makes progress on action ideas

This summer some people in Neshoba County are working on Tide project action teams to improve the lives of families struggling to meet basic needs. Yes, we need more folks working on these projects! Even so, the work being accomplishing on teams this first year is awesome! Here are some examples of what is being done:

Community Outreach
Sandy Lewis and Karen Benson met with Mayor James Young to discuss how the project can best assist the mayor's office with requests. When people can't pay for city services, need work or a job, or can't get the answers they need, the mayor is often contacted. Our mayor is concerned about community needs and has approved the start-up of a citizen's corp. This group would consist of volunteers who could assist the public with information to help resolve issues. Volunteers would work one day a week for 1-2 hours mostly making phone calls to area agencies and businesses. If you would like to help, please call the county Extension office at 601-656-4011.

Food and Beautification
The action team in Union has placed 8 community garden kits with limited-resource families who are growing their own vegetables at home this summer.

A food pantry was expanded at the Union church of Christ. The Union Post office did a community food drive in May for the food pantry. New families have been coming for food each week.

The Baptist Center in Philadelphia continues to need food during the summer months.

Three Master Family Life Educator Volunteers completed training in June. Vickie Carter Madison, Judy Mason, and Mickey Gibson will begin "coaching" single parents and grandparents raising grandchildren this fall at our local schools and Head Start center.

Community Resource Guide
The committee has met twice and divided the sections to be revised. The target date for completion of an online/web-based guide is September 7th. The community resource guide was first published five years ago with the leadership of Mrs. Doris Perry and the Neshoba County Literacy Council. It was noted in the study circle process that agencies and contact information in the guide needed revised and updated. With information changing quickly, the team decided an online version could best serve the community.

Public Policy
This team is in the research phase of action. They want to organize regular "town" meetings but realize public discussion can be intimidating for both public officials and citizens. What makes a successful town meeting? That is exactly what this team hopes to find out and share with the project soon.

July 8, 2010

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