It’s been one year since EFAA’s Participant Advisory Council (PAC) has been introduced as a catalyst for positive change on EFAA’s programs and services. The group of seven participants, representing a variety of backgrounds and family forms, has been meeting every three weeks since last October to focus on ways to strengthen the EFAA community. EFAA supplies dinner, free childcare and help with transportation to each meeting to help eliminate barriers to participating on the PAC.
The PAC prides themselves on working collaboratively and efficiently and supporting one another both inside and outside of their meetings — the embodiment of neighbors helping neighbors.
IN THIS LAST YEAR ALONE, THE PAC HAS …
- Interviewed over 150 community members to identify unmet needs
- Advocated for and expanded the roles in which participants can volunteer with EFAA
- Provided valuable input to restructure EFAA’s financial assistance for participants, including expanded funding for minor car repairs
- Represented EFAA at events and shared their experiences and knowledge of community issues in the media
- Informed EFAA’s new strategic plan through an hour long focus group
Most exciting of all, the PAC now has a literal seat at the table as a voting member of EFAA’s Board of Directors. The seat is shared by three different PAC members throughout the year who will serve 3-4 month terms each.
“[PAC] is making EFAA a stronger and more responsive organization, and I think that the changes that have already been implemented have just been the beginning for the changes to come,” said Lenora, who has served on the PAC since its inception. There is still a lot the PAC wants to accomplish in order to help people in our community who may be struggling to make ends meet. But they can’t do it alone.
“We’re going to need a bigger boat,” says Lenora. “As EFAA expands from emergency services to empowering people to change their circumstances, [EFAA is] going to need access to resources. I want people to know how important community support is. That’s how we’ll be able to do this — through volunteer support, financial support, and the support of donated goods.”