Teaching to Fish

When you think of MACC, you probably think about the food pantry and shelter or, perhaps, clothing. But the fourth part of our mission, advocacy, is equally important. This work promotes self-sufficiency, giving clients direction so they can be self-sufficient.

Advocacy can be quite rewarding, as reported by one of our volunteers, Roberta, who works in the Department of Advocacy and Support Services a couple days a week.

She had taken a call from a desperate client who needed to make a $140 payment to the electric company that day, May 9, or her electricity would be shut off. The client said she would have the money May 19, but the company refused to wait. Roberta gave the client the phone number of the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), suggesting they might be able to intervene with the company on her behalf.

A few hours later, the client called back, happy and excited to thank Roberta. The DEEP had convinced the electric company to change the payment date to May 19. The client’s immediate problem was solved and, better yet, she learned how to advocate for herself.

We often don’t know when our clients have success with a utility or a SNAP application because we just don’t see them again, so it was extremely gratifying for Roberta.

This is what advocacy is all about. At the end of the day, we love helping when we are needed but , even more, we exist to teach people how to advocate for themselves.

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To learn more about volunteer opportunities in advocacy or other areas of MACC, please send an email to jcampion@macc-ct.org, noldham@macc-ct.org or call at 860-647-8003.

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