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 Be the change you wish to see!!!

Big Creek People In Action, Inc. was founded in 1990 by citizens of McDowell County, West Virginia. Since that time, this nonprofit organization has been serving the community of McDowell County in the realms of education and literacy, leadership development, volunteer service, service learning, arts and culture, housing, recreation, and collaborative partnerships. BCPIA's vision of McDowell County is one of empowered and self-sufficient people living in communities that are economically vibrant, democratic, and socially just. To learn more about the history of Big Creek People in Action, please Click Here!

 

 

ACTIVITIES REPORT – OCTOBER TO DECEMBER 2014

 

 

Parenting Skills Training and Support

 

·         October 13:  War/Cove Head Start staff, children and parents hosted at BCPIA for a Halloween event.  Read Aloud and reading enrichment activities conducted.

·         AmeriCorps and BCPIA hosted a Thanksgiving Read Aloud at the War/Cove Head Start.  Again, reading enrichment activities were conducted by the AmeriCorps members.

·         December 16:  AmeriCorps members and BCPIA hosted Endwell Head Start and Bradshaw Pre-K at BCPIA for a Christmas Party.  The staff, children, and their parents were treated to a visit from Santa Claus, a meal, a visit from Santa Claus, and Christmas presents.  A Read Aloud and reading enrichment activities were also conducted.

·         December 17:  AmeriCorps members and BCPIA hosted War/Cove Head Start at BCPIA for a Christmas Party.  The staff, children, and their parents were treated to a visit from Santa Claus, a meal, a visit from Santa Claus, and Christmas presents.  A Read Aloud and reading enrichment activities were also conducted.

·         Six Play Pals workshops were held

·         Support:  Extra Cool After School with 37 children registered with 18-20 attending on a daily basis.

 

Outreach Services

 

·         October 10:  AmeriCorps members conducted a Cleanup campaign through the Town of War and Caretta.

·         October 13:  A Halloween event was held at BCPIA for the War/Cove Head Start.

·         October 17:  A Senior Health Fair was held at BCPIA with over 100 people attending.

·         October 18:  BCPIA participated in a Community Fall Festival held at the Wal-Mart parking lot in Kimball.

·         BCPIA’s AmeriCorps Vet Corps members traveled to the VA Hospital in Beckley and distributed gift bags to the veterans.

·         November 19:  300 Turkeys were distributed, along with several cases of frozen sandwiches.

·         6 Play Pal workshops were held during this reporting period.

·         Veteran Food Boxes were distributed to local veterans once a month.

·         Housing Rehabilitation was conducted by Notre Dame University in October.

·         November 20:  Thanksgiving project held at War/Cove Head Start.

·         December 12:  FOUR Community Christmas Parties were held at BCPIA.

·         December 16:  Endwell Head Start & Bradshaw Pre-K Christmas Party at BCPIA.

·         December 17:  War/Cove Head Start Christmas Party at BCPIA.

·         December 19:  Health Care Sign-Ups at BCPIA.

·         AmeriCorps member tutoring at McDowell County Vocational & Technical Career School.

·         AmeriCorps member tutoring at Southside K-8 during this reporting period.

·         Welfare to Work Workers hosted with 2 participating during this reporting period.

·         One staff member through Experience Works during this reporting period.

 

I would like to go in depth a little more about the FOUR Christmas parties we hosted on December 12th.  This is an amazing event for this community and takes a great deal of time, coordination and energy from BCPIA’s staff, AmeriCorps members and the numerous Church groups and colleges that partner with us to make this event spectacular.  We do NOT just hand them a bag of gifts --- it truly, truly is an event.  They come into our building and enter our gymnasium, which is decorated to the max!  Christmas trees (about 6 of them!) on the stage and several more on the gym floor.  They are served a hot meal (turkey casserole, mashed potatoes, corn, green beans, rolls and dessert!!) and sit down with their family and other people from the community for fellowship.  After eating, the family’s name is called and they come one at a time to visit Santa Claus and tell him what they are wishing for and receive a treat bag.  Then the parents receive the child’s presents wrapped and in a heavy plastic garbage bag so that the children cannot see the gifts.  The children then go to Santa’s workshop – where they get two wrapped presents - - one for Mom and one for Dad or their grandparents (whoever is raising them).  THEN…… the family gets a food box with everything they need to fix Christmas dinner for their family.  The box also contains a lot of extra stuff  --anything we are able to get donated or whatever before the party.  We host our first party of the day at 12:30.  This party is for our senior citizens and mentally challenged.  Then we have to wait for school to let out before we can start the other three – so we have one at 4:30, second one at 6:30 and the last one at 8:30.  In between we are cleaning the tables and setting back up for the next party.  It is chaotic, to say the least – but it is wonderful.  Our Christmas parties are truly amazing.  Our story for this month is about our Christmas parties and I hope you enjoy it.

 

Community Referral Services

 

·         BCPIA has continued to provide referrals to community residents with a variety of    needs such as:  needing used appliances, assistance with electric bills, housing rehabilitation services, housing insulation and heating problems, transportation, baby diapers, wheelchairs, and seeking help for smoking addiction and health issues.

 

Linkages to Health Programs and Information

 

·         Our Healthy Lifestyles Coordinator resigned during this reporting period, however we have continued with the work we were doing in our Healthy Lifestyles program.  The work has been distributed among other staff and we will continue to offer the same services.

 

Linkages to Respite Care and Transportation

 

·         BCPIA continues to “spread the word” about our after school program and everything  it offers, from providing respite for the parents in the evening, tutoring for the children, a hot, nutritious dinner, a healthy exercise regime and learning new computer skills and reading enrichment activities and transportation (if needed).

·         BCPIA continues to inform the community about our new computer lab and all it has to offer.

·         Coordination of Optional/Flexible Services

·         BCPIA hosted University of Notre Dame for a week in October.  The students conducted housing rehabilitation projects and were involved in service learning opportunities throughout the week.

·         We had church volunteers from these Baptist churches in South Carolina:  South Lexington, Red Bank, Convent, Mt. Herman and Lexington Church of God.   We also had Gateway Baptist Church from Virginia, Grove Church of Lake County, Pennsylvania, and Second Baptist Church from Richmond, Virginia.  Warren Wilson College from North Carolina also volunteered and brought 300 gift filled shoeboxes for the children at the parties.  A group of volunteers from Unitarian Universalist of Columbia, Maryland made blankets for the senior citizens and sent them to us to distribute.  Donations came in from so many individuals and groups that enable us to put the Christmas parties together.  One little lady crochets hats and scarves to be distributed to the children.

 

Parenting Education:

 

·         During this reporting period, we have hosted  6 Play Pal workshops.  At each Play Pal workshop the participants are presented with “Baby Bucks”.  They can then go to Community Crossings and shop for baby items with the bucks.

 

Afterschool:

 

·         During this reporting period, we had 37 children enrolled in our after school program, with 18-20 participating on a regular basis.

·         The Center has transported some of the After School children to their practices for cheerleading or sports events.  We do this so that we will not completely lose our opportunity to reach out to those children during “sports season.”  This way we have them for a little over an hour each day before they leave for practice.  Then we know that, at least, they had a hot meal before practice.  We feed them and help with as much of their homework as possible before they go.  We figure they will be receiving the “exercise” component of our program at practice.

 

In-School Tutoring/Literacy:

 

·         We have provided an AmeriCorps member to serve as a tutor at Southside K-8.

·         We have provided an AmeriCorps member to serve as a tutor in our After School program.

·         We have continued to provide a tutor for the program at the McDowell County Vocational & Technical Career Center at Welch.  The program has been such a huge success we were approached by the principal and were asked to partner on a Memorandum of Agreement with them to provide a person to work in this program.  We also provide an AmeriCorps member to assist this person.

 

Computer Lab/Job Training:

 

·         During this reporting period both children and adults have continued to use our computer lab.  They have used the lab for job training, research, science project research, resume building, resource research for veterans, and various other things.

·         BCPIA hosted 2 DHHR volunteers during this reporting period.  These volunteers did everything from answering phones to cleaning to volunteering in our After School program.

·         BCPIA has a staff person from the Experience Works program.

 

Housing Rehabilitation:

 

·         During this reporting period, University of Notre Dame spent a week at our Center working on housing rehabilitation projects and participating in service learning opportunities.

·         Our Healthy Lifestyles coordinator has resigned, but other staff members have picked up the “slack” and we have continued with the services offered under this program.

·         Zumba classes have resumed at our Center.

·         Service Learning/Volunteer Groups:

·         During this reporting period, we hosted University of Notre Dame in October.

·         We had numerous volunteers for our Christmas Parties:  We had church volunteers from these Baptist churches in South Carolina:  South Lexington, Red Bank, Convent, Mt. Herman and Lexington Church of God.   We also had Gateway Baptist Church from Virginia, Grove Church of Lake County, Pennsylvania, and Second Baptist Church from Richmond, Virginia.  Warren Wilson College from North Carolina also volunteered and brought 300 gift filled shoeboxes for the children at the parties.  A group of volunteers from Unitarian Universalist of Columbia, Maryland made blankets for the senior citizens and sent them to us to distribute.  Donations came in from so many individuals and groups that enable us to put the Christmas parties together.  One little lady crochets hats and scarves to be distributed to the children.

 

Special Events/Giveaways:

 

·         Americans Helping Americans provided us with 300 turkeys to be distributed to the community and we were able to give them to our Christmas Party attendees.  We also had several cases of frozen sandwiches that we gave out at this time also.

·         AmeriCorps Community Cleanup at War and Caretta

·         BCPIA hosted a Halloween Read Aloud, reading enrichment activities and trick or treat throughout our facility for the War/Cove Head Start.

·         BCPIA hosted a Senior Health Fair.

·         Two staff members participated in the Community Fall Festival in Kimball.

·         Two AmeriCorps Vet Corps members traveled to Beckley to distribute gift bags at the VA Hospital

·         AmeriCorps members conducted a Thanksgiving Read Aloud and reading enrichment activities at the War/Cove Head Start.

·         Four Christmas Parties were held in one day at BCPIA!!!!!  The parties included senior citizens, mentally challenged, veterans and children and their families!  Go BCPIA!!!!!

·         Christmas Parties were held at BCPIA for War/Cove Head Start, Endwell Head Start and Bradshaw Pre-K.  Santa Claus attended and gifts were distributed.  Read Alouds were conducted and reading enrichment activities were a part of the day.

·         Health Care Sign Ups were held at the Center.

 


       

     

Contact Information:                  

 

Big Creek People in Action, Inc.                           

HC 32 Box 541

War, WV 24892

Ph. (304) 875-3418

Fax: (304) 875-3518

Email: bcpia3418@netscape.net