SHREVEPORT – The community action agencies that serve low-income individuals in Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, Claiborne, DeSoto, Jackson, Morehouse, Natchitoches, Red River, Sabine, Webster and Winn parishes honored those making a difference in their communities at a special event Wednesday morning (Sept. 15) in Shreveport.
Honored at the Community Action Hero Awards and Showcase were the staff of the Bossier Office of Community Services, Ronald W. Myles of Shreveport, Lynda Spivey of Mansfield and the Red River Parish Police Jury and Red River Parish Manager Jessie Davis. The event also included a showcase of the services the agencies offer to area residents through Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) funding administered by the Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC).
The Bossier Office of Community Services selected its staff for its Community Action Hero Award. “It is our agency’s mission to provide beneficial and essential services to the low- to moderate-income residents of Bossier Parish,” said Executive Director Debra Hamilton in her nomination. Federal stimulus funds enabled the agency “to bring jobs, skill training and emergency assistance in the community. Together, the staff works diligently with each other, providing teamwork to operate a number of programs that ensure the needs of individuals and families are being met throughout Bossier Parish,” she said.
Caddo Community Action Agency, Inc. (CCAA) selected Ronald W. Myles as the recipient of its Community Action Hero Award. Myles was hired with federal stimulus funds as an instructor for the Commercial Drivers License Class offered by the agency. “He set out on a mission to recruit students for the class, as well as recruit prospective employers to hire students who successfully complete the class and the diesel driving training,” said Laurance Guidry, Caddo CAA president and CEO, in his nomination of Myles. Not only has Myles helped 63 percent of class graduates find employment, but as a result of Myles’ efforts, CCAA is now an authorized and certified third-party tester, qualified to furnish third-party skills tests to individuals seeking commercial drivers licenses.
DeSoto Parish Police Jury Office of Community Services selected Lynda Spivey of Mansfield as the recipient of its Community Action Hero Award. Spivey, who has been with the agency for 23 years and serves as its assistant director, does “whatever it takes” to serve those in need, said Executive Director Mary R. Mayfield in her nomination. Among the personal stories told of Spivey’s generous efforts were accounts of Spivey using her own funds to help a family needing gas money in order to travel to the agency to complete required paperwork, and staying past normal business hours to ensure a family’s electricity wasn’t shut off. “Lynda has taken the dirty laundry from our occupants at the homeless shelter and washed them in her own home. She has given them sheets and blankets and groceries from her own home. If this isn’t a hero, I don’t know what is,” said Mayfield.
Pine Belt Multi-Purpose CAA., Inc., which serves Bienville, Jackson, Morehouse, Red River, Sabine and Winn parishes, named the Red River Parish Police Jury for its Community Action Hero Award, citing the efforts of Parish Manager Jessie Davis. As a result of Davis’ continuous support, “the Red River Parish Police Jury provides facility accommodations at no cost, in addition to upkeep and maintenance. On many occasions, the jury has provided office furniture and equipment, along with technical support for efficient daily operations. During commodities distribution, jury staff have transported food items and assisted with the distribution process,” said Pine Belt Executive Director Conchita Malone-Doyle in her nomination. Davis also provided assistance with the successful implementation of the agency’s recent Summer Employment Program. “Not only did he assist with identifying placement sites for many participants, but as a board member, he assisted with the agency’s selection process by serving on the interview committee,” Malone-Doyle said.
The awards were presented as part of the LWC’s promotion of community action agencies that provide supportive services to help low-income individuals become or remain self-sufficient. Other agencies that serve the Shreveport area are the Claiborne Parish Police Jury Office of Community Services, Natchitoches Parish Police Jury Office of Community Services and Webster Parish Police Jury Office of Community Services.
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