OACAC benefit aims to bring in funds and awareness
Reed: ‘We are excited to help people in the community’
An Ozarks Area Community Action Center benefit on March 8, starting at 6 p.m., aims to support different OACAC programs that help people move from poverty to self-sufficiency.
Gail Reed, Barry County Neighborhood Center supervisor for OACAC, said the benefit will take place in the Cassville Crowder College Community Center, and the show begins at 7 p.m.
“This is the first big fundraiser that we have ever done here in Barry County,” she said. “We are hoping to do this every year.”
Reed said the band that will play is “The Homestead Pickers,” a band that plays at Silver Dollar City and has a local member.
“When they were asked, they were very happy to come and do this event for us,” she said. “All of the funds that will be raised are going to the OACAC Neighborhood Center emergency funds.”
Reed said these funds help people when they really need it.
“We have helped with things from buying car parts to paying for a driver’s license, gas for vehicles and prescriptions on a limited basis,” she said. “Whatever the emergency or crisis is, that is what we try to help with.”
Reed said she hopes that this event and others like it will help to bring in funds, but also, awareness about the program.
“I always say we are the best kept secret in Southwest Missouri,” she said. “People don’t know about us or what we do, and I would like to think that people will talk about the good things done here.”
Reed said that OACAC is not just a head start or energy assistance, but it is so much more.
“Our goal is to help people obtain self-sufficiency in their lives,” she said. “We work mainly with families in crisis. We help them with job search, parenting classes and life skills classes on budgeting and nutrition.”
Reed said it is important to give people as much knowledge about life skills as possible.
“We also do community projects like REALL and VOICES with children in school to help plant seeds with them about their futures and jobs,” she said. “We partner with a lot of different agencies in Barry County to do different things.”
Reed said the Neighborhood Center partners with the food pantry, all the schools in the county, a back to school fair and Share Your Christmas.
“There will be a silent auction, and we are really excited about that,” she said. “We have received some really good donations for that.”
Reed said there will be a raffle as well, for a rifle, that will be an ongoing thing and raffled in May.
“We are excited to raise some funds so that we can help more people in the county with their needs,” she said. “We appreciate awareness into the community about the OACAC program.”
For more information or to purchase tickets, people may call 417-847-2140. Tickets are $10 per person and can be purchased in advance or at the door.