My name is Pam Morse, a local business owner. More than six years ago I was asked to sit on the Board of Lifeline. Today, I am currently serving as the Board President of Lifeline, Lake County’s Community Action Agency. Over the past six years, as a Board member, I have been continually learning about the fight against poverty and how Lifeline impacts the life of our low-income residents by helping them become more self-sufficient.
Lifeline’s original name was Lakeland Economic Development Corporation (LEDC) it was formed as a subsidiary of the NAACP in 1973. LEDC grew to become an independent agency in the 1980’s. Each decade brought change and growth, expanding programs to help the needy of Lake County.
Many exciting things have happened so far this year for Lifeline. Recognizing that our need was growing, along with our staff numbers, we were able to budget for an expansion in 2015. Our lobby is larger and features a children’s area for our visiting clients. The expansion doubled the size of our Board room and conference area. This larger conference room allows us to offer it to various community groups as well as Lifeline staff, and to present programs for clients.
The big fundraising event, Dancing Under the Stars, was a huge success. Through successful fundraising planning we were able to create for Lifeline the “Endowment Against Poverty.” Lifeline has partnered with the Cleveland Foundation to help us plan for the future. 2015 was our most successful Annual Campaign to date. More than 100 donors recognized the importance of Lifeline to Lake County.
We, as a team, are working for the community. Lifeline assisted more than 3,200 households, including 7,500 individuals in 2014-2015 with health, housing, energy and consumer education programs. Lake County has had some brutal winters. HEAP helped 1,100 households with the 2014-15 Winter Crisis Program and more than 350 households were served by the 2015 HEAP Summer Crisis Program. Other valuable programs include the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Clinics, Rental Assistance Program, Employment Training and Healthcare Services. The 2-1-1 staff answered nearly 40,000 incoming calls requesting information and referral services.
For Lifeline, 2015 has been a year of accomplishments, opportunities and challenges. As an agency we have leveraged our resources and relationships to ensure that we remain a place within the Lake County community that enables our Clients, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, and responsible citizens.
As 2016 approaches we will review our strategic plan to plan for the future and the next three years. With your continued support, we will strive to make 2015-2016 a year where our agency expands its reach and deepens the impact that we have in the lives of our Lake County residents. Join us as a friend on Facebook or visit our website at www.lifeline.org to learn more.