Mid-Cumberland Community Action Ageny

Help Middle Tennessee families achieve self-efficiency by investing in MCCAA. Your contributions will go a long way in allowing us to help those in need.

Working, Welcome, and Winning

It’s been a few weeks since we’ve had a blog post. A lot has been going on around here, keeping us all busy and on our toes.

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Happy New Year!

2013 is nearly at an end. 2014 is just around the corner, bursting with possibilities. There will be some good byes, some hellos, new beginnings, and a few endings. For many, the New Year is a time for reflecting on the year past and what we have achieved, and on the year to come and the possibilities of what can be. Resolutions will be made, habits forsworn, and lives changed. In reality, New Year’s Day is just another day, linearly speaking. But to many of us, New Year’s Day is this sort of magical day that breeches the space time continuum that allows the opportunity to press the “reset” button and start anew. And the possibilities are endless… For our clients, 2014 could be the year of affordable and decent housing. 2014 might be the year of stable employment with a company that provides decent wages, benefits, and longevity. 2014 can be the year of a balanced household budget and no disconnected utility services. 2014 may be the year that the children thrive in school. Will 2014 be the year that the SNAP card finally gets cut off and cut up, because it is no longer needed? 2014 could be all this and more for our clients. 2014 could be the year that they stand tall and stand proud of all that has been accomplished for themselves and their families! For MCCAA 2014 is bursting with possibility and opportunity as well! Over the past few months we have worked on staffing key positions with people that are dedicated to and passionate about the mission of community action. We have upgraded our technology so that we work smarter, not harder. We have worked to bring greater public awareness to the mission of the agency and the plight of our clients, to put a face on poverty so that it is identifiable and relatable. We have participated in training so that we are more sensitive to the situations that so frequently affect clients. We are prepped and raring to go! We are ready to take the lead in providing quality services that empower, not enable. We are ready to lead the way in promoting self-sufficiency instead of program dependency! We are ready to have a positive impact on the lives of the thousands of Middle Tennessee families that we serve annually. The point is that 2014 can be anything we want it to be. We get to decide what we want to do, who we want to be, or where we want to go. The important thing is to take the step- the whole world of possibilities lies before us!
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It's a Wonderful Life!

The Holiday Season is fully upon us. Trees are decorated, lights are strung, and shopping is in full swing. If not careful, it is all too easy to get caught up in the activity and forget to appreciate the magic and wonder that is Christmas.

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USDA December Commodity Distribution

Mid-Cumberland Community Action Agency will be distributing USDA Commodities Wednesday, December 11, 2013 and Thursday, December 12, 2013.

For more infomation contact your local outeach office.

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Give Thanks!

Thanksgiving is tomorrow. It is the particularly appointed day of the year that we are supposed to take the time to reflect on all of the things in our lives that we are thankful for. And really, no matter what our particular situation, we all have so much to be thankful for. So let’s get started.

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Slippery Slopes and Solutions

One of the reasons that there is no simple solution for poverty is that there is no one simple path to poverty. Often the path is a slippery slope: quick to slide down into poverty but difficult to climb back out.

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Baby It's Cold Outside!

Yesterday morning as I rushed through my usual morning activities, I took a minute to look outside the window. And guess what? It was snowing!! I know that the forecast called for light flurry activity, but these were fat fluffy snowflakes! Amazing that just 15 hours prior, I had to turn the ac on in the car because the afternoon sun was so warm. Even after 8 years in Tennessee, the weather here never ceases to amaze me!!!

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Time for your Holiday Hearts!

Halloween is over, and the Holiday Season has officially begun. Now, before the Thanksgiving purists get all over me, let me clarify: in my mind the next two months are just collectively referred to as “The Holiday Season”. I think that the main reason is because around here the Holiday Season, Thanksgiving and Christmas, is a flurry of activity. The Holiday Season is my favorite time of the year at MCCAA because there are so many opportunities to participate in something that can put a song in your heart and a smile on your face for weeks to come. Before you know it, you catch yourself humming Jingle Bells and playing with baby dolls, feeling all wrapped up in merriment.

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Service

At MCCAA we are all about service: service to our customers, service to our communities, and service to each other. Why the emphasis on service?

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A Whole New World!

 I first came to work at MCCAA in the late fall of 2006. In my early days with MCCAA, I was so green-every client, every situation broke my heart, and I just knew that we could save the world. I sometimes wondered what would be our goal as an agency once we eradicated poverty in Middle Tennessee. Years later, I have changed. I am far less naïve and know that our mission as a human services anti-poverty agency will never be truly complete. Poverty is perpetual, like the incoming tide: as soon as you clear one wave, here comes the next.

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Smyrna's Sassy Seniors

One of the outcomes that MCCAA diligently focuses on is providing resources and services that help equip vulnerable low-income populations, such as the elderly and disabled, to maintain an independent living situation. The Elderly and Disabled Services Program, LIHEAP, and Commodities are a few of the programs that MCCAA offers that are focused or are geared towards providing services to these people.

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Government Shut Down- What does it mean for Mid-Cumberland Community Action Agency?

As an agency that is funded in large part through federal dollars, it is only natural that many of our customers and partners have questions about how does the partial U.S. Government Shutdown affect MCCAA?

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Ring Around the Rosie…Community Action, Head Start, and Home!

I have fairly eclectic taste when it comes to movies. I like sci-fi, fantasy, action, kids, classics, and many other genres. One of my favorite types, (it’s not really a genre), are movies about when a series of seemingly unrelated events is tied together through a common factor. I once saw a movie that showed the life cycle of a $20 bill, appropriately titled $20 Bucks’. Two hours and many stories later, the $20 ended up back in the hands of the person from the beginning of the movie. Sort of a “Circle of Life” thing.

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How Poverty Thinks, part 2

Last week, we looked at How Poverty Thinks. We considered how people in poverty think differently and do not always follow the line of logic leading to good decisions- how we simply cannot understand why “poor” people seem to always make the worst possible choices that only seem to exacerbate their situations. As someone looking in, we want to shout “Why?!? Why did you just do that”? Now there is scientific research to help us understand “How poverty thinks”.

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How Poverty Thinks

Several years ago I attended a workshop entitled “How Poverty Thinks.” Aptly, the presenter was a woman who grew up in generational poverty and her life had been transformed by Community Action. I’ll admit, for the first half of the workshop, I sat there skeptical- thinking the presenter was just making excuse after excuse, and I was tired of excuses. Then, little by little, I began to put her words together with things I had witnessed. .. and then the truth hit me.

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On Being Stubborn!

I remember the exact moment I realized that I was stubborn. I had been engaged in a lengthy debate with a college friend. At some point during the debate my point had been proved invalid, but I continued to argue anyway. My friend suddenly stopped and looked me in the face and said “You are the most stubborn person I know.”

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Don't Run, Overcome! Take a lesson from the Left Handers!

Yesterday, Tuesday August 13, 2013, was official Left Handers Day: an entire day dedicated to the celebration of left handers. A news article touted a list of famous people that are left handed: five out of the last seven Presidents, including President Obama, Prince William of Wales, Oprah Winfrey, and even Justin Bieber. In short, left handers tend to be over achievers!!

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What Does Poverty Look Like?

What does poverty look like? Does it have a certain look? Many of us assume we know what poverty looks like, but do we really? Do we tend to look at all poor or low-income people through the same glasses? Do we assume all people are poor because they won’t work and are only looking for a handout? The truth of what poverty really looks like would surprise many.

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