I love what I do as the Western Massachusetts Organizer for MPU, but every once and awhile, something truly extraordinary and exciting comes together. One of those moments is now! So, LISTEN UP.
We are launching a one-stop shop for parents and families to become familiar with and access community organizations, agencies, and groups for support! It’s called 413 United and it’s open and available to you. We meet once a month and invite everyone. So far, we have had a variety of groups join us, including:
- representatives from the City of Springfield speaking on voter registration and voting opportunities;
- Springfield Public Schools discussing how the district serves students who have arrived from Puerto Rico;
- Springfield Partners for Community Action on their community services such as free tax prep, childcare services, and financial literacy and home buyers classes;
- Springfield Head Start on their enrollment process and current open seats in the program;
- the C3 Police Unit’s work with the American International College football students on a free football camp;
- NAMI on mental health support; and
- New England Farm Workers on daycare vouchers opportunities and youth services.
We want you to know about the work being done in the community and the resources that are available to help you achieve a better quality of life. We know how difficult is it to know what’s out there and get all the information you need in one place. That’s why we’re doing it for you!
As an active member of the community and an MPU organizer, I’ve learned over time about the many programs and resources that are available for families and individuals who may be struggling. There are many programs that are vital to families and can help make ends meet—from financial literacy courses, to getting your child enrolled at Head Start, to applying for food stamps—but not if families don’t know about them. The most important lesson I’ve learned is that coalition-building is the core of successfully working together in a community. Even though we have all these great resources and organizations, they very rarely connect with or even know about one another. Yet, all the above groups offer services of high importance.
My goal is that 413 United grows to become a go-to community group in Springfield so that when parents have any problem—big or small—they can solve it or we can point them to the right place.
Join us for our next meeting on December 12th and let us know who you would like to hear from! We can’t wait to make the lives of our families just a little bit easier.
By Kim Rivera