The Ohio Association of Community Action Agencies’ mission is to support our members and keep Community Action in Ohio strong. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have continued that mission and developed new ways to support our 47 Community Action members across the state.
As a training and technical assistance provider to agencies delivering essential services in all of Ohio’s 88 counties, we have worked hard to maintain open lines of communication. By doing so, we have learned from each other and developed best practices during this crisis—all while continuing to serve the most vulnerable Ohioans. Since the Stay At Home orders were established, in addition to one-on-one calls, email communication, and a private resources page accessible by members, OACAA has implemented weekly district calls to ensure we all stay connected.
Our members have shared their revised operating processes and their urgent and emerging needs to allow us to respond. The input from the network has been vital to the Governor’s Philanthropy Strike Force, and it has directly impacted our reports and recommendations—many of which have been enacted. We also heard the call for PPE to allow agencies to resume face-to-face customer contact while ensuring staff and customers stay safe as Community Action continues responding during the pandemic.
Since March, OACAA has ordered, purchased, and/or distributed to the network 18,000 shelf-stable meals, 20,000 personal-size bottles of soap, 98 5-gallon jugs of hand sanitizer, 39,000 Ohio-made cloth face masks, 5,700 Ohio-made KN-95 masks, 1,150 additional KN-95 masks, and 22,000 pairs of gloves. With the help of our members and their coordinated efforts, these necessary supplies have been delivered across the state to help keep agencies open and serving customers.
OACAA also believes in the important role of training and professional development. Though we have canceled our in-person summer conference, we are working to develop a virtual training conference to maintain our network-focused services. Save the date for July 20-24, 2020, and keep an eye on our website for more details on virtual trainings. Details will be announced soon.
Community Action Agencies have a 55+ year history of quickly adapting to the needs of our communities, and it is the network’s experience and commitment to all Ohioans that has allowed us to respond to needs during this pandemic. As each day ebbs and flows on this path to keeping Americans healthy and safe from the coronavirus, Community Action will be there to respond to the needs.
We are proud to be a part of this network.