2009 Program Highlights
Download the full 2009 Annual Report
Region 2 One Day ConferenceIn January, DAWG held a a one day training for families in Region 2 at the Schoenbaum Family Enrichment Center in Charleston, WV. The event was attended by 46 individuals from Kanawha, Roane, Putnam, and Mingo counties, as well as, several attendees from other regions of the state. Workshops were offered on the following topics:
- Community Involvement and Resources
- IEP’s and the Parent Education Resource Center
- Understanding Medicaid Changes
- Housing Discrimination
- State Earned Income Tax Credit
- Accessing Higher Education and Financial Aid
- Big Things for Little Brains
- Stand up to Bullying
- Utility Assistance Programs
DAWG Office OpensOn April 1, 2009, after a few roof repairs, the DAWG office officially opened on the West Side of Charleston. We choose the perfect location right between the Charleston Housing office and two housing projects. The office is also located on the same bus line as the local welfare office.
Poverty ScholarsDAWG and Teen DAWG members were among veteran and emerging low-income leaders nominated to participate in Union Theological Seminary’s Poverty Initiative’s first class of Poverty Scholars. The Poverty Scholars Program develops and expands upon an innovative, intellectually rigorous, human rights based, popular education program/curriculum for grassroots activists towards building a movement to end poverty.
Community GiveawaysDAWG held two community clothing giveaways one in the spring and one In the Fall. Thanks to a partnership with Believe in WV’s Storehouse, Mighty Visions Ministry, and community donors, we were able to provide over 100 families with new and gently used clothing, shoes, and coats.
LiteracyFamily Bookshelf Through our Family Bookshelf program we have distributed over 800 books to low income adults, children and senior citizens in Kanawha County. Early Literacy Through our Early Literacy program we have educated 35 families on the importance of early literacy and the need to read to their pre-school aged children.
Crime Night OutIn August, DAWG partnered with Littlepage Residents Management Corporation to host Crime Night Out at Littlepage Terrace. Activities included safety demonstrations, Charleston Fire Department’s Smokehouse, food, games, and a bicycle raffle. Over 50 families participated in the Crime Night Out activities.
Healthcare for America NowDAWG worked in coalition with other organizations in West Virginia to bring attention to the need for healthcare for all Americans. In West Virginia 17% of the population has no health coverage and one in four working age adults die each week due to lack of healthcare.
Community Baby ShowerDAWG participated in UniCare’s Community Baby shower where we distributed gift bags and books to expecting mothers. Over 100 expecting and new mothers attended the event.
Outreach to College StudentsDAWG meets each year with college students who spend their breaks in Appalachia. The college students participate in immersion trips and volunteer on work teams to provide housing repairs. In 2009, we had the pleasure of meeting with students from Cabrini College in Pennsylvania. In the past we have met with students from Notre Dame, Case Western, and Columbia to name a few. We take this opportunity to educate the students on the issues in Appalachia and how they can make and create change while they are here and when they return to their own communities.
Monthly Pot Luck DinnersDAWG holds monthly Pot Luck Dinners for our members and the general public. This enables people in the community to stop by share a meal and find out what DAWG is all about. It also gives our donors a chance to stop by and meet some of the people we work with. An average of 15 people attends the dinner each month. In June, we had staff from Poverty Initiative in New York join us for our monthly Pot Luck. Everyone brought their favorite West Virginia dish to share with our friends from New York.
Poverty Scholars Leadership SchoolIn August, DAWG hosted over 150 community and religious leaders from anti-poverty organizations around the country at Camp Virgil Tate for a historic week-long leadership school. The school was a project of the Poverty Initiative of Union Theological Seminary in New York City. Poverty leaders representing over 20 organizations participated. Groups included Domestic Workers United from New York, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers from Florida, Poor Magazine from California, United Workers from Baltimore, May Day New Orleans, Michigan Welfare Rights Organization, and the United Taxi Workers Alliance from Philadelphia. The school also included several international participants from the Shackdwellers Movement in South Africa, the Church of Scotland, and Justicia Global (Global Justice) in the Dominican Republic. Youth from Teen DAWG, Philadelphia Student Union, and South Africa also participated.