Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Rural Action News

Rural Action VISTAs Take Part in National MLK Service Efforts
By Tori Patterson, Rural Action VISTA Leader

On Saturday, January 19th, ten AmeriCorps Volunteers in Service to America placed with Rural Action participated in the Good Works Walk for the Homeless. Now in its sixth year, the event raises needed funds for the Timothy House, a shelter serving nine rural counties in Southeast Ohio (click here to read coverage by The Athens News). Rural Action volunteers walked alongside community members to help increase the visibility of rural homelessness as their service project in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Click here for more info on the MLK Day of Service.

Click on the slide show above to see pictures taken by Rural Action VISTAs at the event.

Thanks to All Who Attended Welcoming Reception

Rural Action’s main office in Trimble hosted a full house for two hours on Thursday, January 10 as Rural Action supporters stopped by to welcome new Executive Director Michelle Decker. More than 75 people mingled at what some said felt like a Rural Action reunion, and what others said was the perfect opportunity to forge new partnerships. The crowd included representatives form organizations across the region, including the Central Appalachian Network, Green Energy Ohio, and the Urban Appalachian Commission.

While enjoying a nice spread of finger-foods and punch, the guests turned their attention to Michelle as she spoke about her plans as Executive Director of Rural Action.

“I want to thank everyone for being here tonight…especially our great group of members,” Michelle said. She also thanked her family, staff and VISTAs, and Mary Steinmaus, who served as Interim Executive Director for the past seven months. Michelle also spoke briefly about the future, and the steps Rural Action will take to design and implement the Strategy for Rural Renewal, the document that will guide Rural Action for the next ten years.

Thanks to everyone who made it to the event!

Linking Learning Circles Summary
By Kelsey McCoy, Rural Action VISTA for Media

Rural Action is in the process of revisiting the organization's guiding plan through the Rural Renewal Strategy. For the past few months, several groups of committed individuals have been meeting to discuss specific areas which communities expressed interest in seeing improved upon in the near future. These groups are called Learning Circles, and cover topics ranging from Energy to Youth. On January 15, the Learning Circles gathered at the home of Mary Anne Flournoy, Chair of the Board of Directors, to share what they have discussed at their meetings, and decide on the next steps of the process.

Katie Durham, an AmeriCorps VISTA focusing on the Rural Renewal Strategy said, “Our Linking Learning Circles Gathering was a huge success. We had a great turnout, wonderful presentation of ideas, diverse and engaged discussion, and most of all a really good time.”

The meeting began with a brief introduction by Michelle Decker, Executive Director, who expressed that it is important to outline the desired outcomes of the Rural Renewal Strategy. It was decided that the outcome will be a strategic direction for the organization, ultimately expressed in a document to rest upon for the next 10-15 years. Click here to learn more about the Rural Renewal Strategy, or contact Katie Durham,, 740-767-4938, for more information.

The Adventure Auction is Coming
By Cat Fincun, Rural Action VISTA for Events and Volunteer Management

On April 19, 2008, Rural Action invites you to The Adventure Auction at The Inn at Hocking College from 6:30-11:30 PM. The evening will begin with a buffet of culinary delights, followed by a live auction and silent auction featuring adventure-themed packages. After the auctions, prepare to dance the night away to live local tunes.

Proceeds will support Rural Action and the Rural Renewal Strategy, which will guide the organization’s work for the next ten years. Rural Action is excited to create opportunities for renewal and growth in Appalachian Ohio. The Adventure Auction is your opportunity to invest in our region’s healthy communities, economies and environments.

Experience a night to remember with fellow community members and Break Away from the Everyday at Rural Action’s Adventure Auction!

For more information about the Adventure Auction, how to contribute to the event or information about tickets please contact Cat Fincun,, Event and Volunteer Specialist at: 740.767.4938