BCOC Celebrates Annual Meeting
Bucks County Opportunity Council’s Annual Meeting Celebrates Year-Long Efforts to Address Poverty in Bucks County.
The Bucks County Opportunity Council (BCOC) hosted its Annual Meeting at the Bucks Club for approximately 200 guests this past Friday, November 17th.
Community Partners, Program Participants and Volunteers came together to celebrate the impact BCOC has on the Bucks County community. From July 1, 2022, through June 30, 2023, BCOC served more than 56,000 people throughout its five program areas: Housing, Food, Economic Self-Suffiency (ES), Weatherization and Tax Assistance.
Haliegh, Dakota, Erica and Kelly are just a few of those people BCOC helped last year. Each of them spoke of the impact BCOC has had on their lives.
BCOC’s IRS-certified volunteers prepared Haliegh’s income tax return through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. She said, “This type of assistance gave some much-needed relief knowing I was being taken care of by experts.”
BCOC was able to help Dakota complete a certification program to earn a livable wage to support her two daughters. She said, “Without them, I am pretty sure I would have lost everything.” Dakota’s life has been positively impacted and she knows BCOC can help others in similar situations progress through life.
Erica was not able to make the event, but she recorded a video of herself speaking of the impacts BCOC’s Weatherization program has had on her. Since getting her home weatherized, Erica said, “My house feels cozy, and I haven’t even had to turn the heat on yet this year.” Erica was impressed with all the improvements done to her house, saying, “This program is a lifesaver!”
Guests also heard from Kelly, who is a participant in BCOC’s ES program, projected to graduate from the program in 2024. Kelly first came to BCOC in 2019 after leaving a bad situation. She was homeless and had children to feed. She found BCOC and instantly began receiving services. Now, Kelly is proud to share, “I am now thriving and renting a home in Newtown.”
BCOC gave out three awards to honor those who support them in their work. The YWCA of Bucks County was awarded the “Building Brides: Community Impact Award” for their partnership with BCOC in serving the Bucks County community.
Wegmans of Warrington was the recipient of the Community Connector Award for their role in addressing food insecurity in Bucks County. Wegmans has worked with BCOC for over 10 years. Just this past year they contributed over 300,000 pounds of food to our neighbors in need.
Bob and Elaine Fitt were awarded the Ambassadors of the Year Award for their dedicated efforts in the community to support BCOC’s mission and participants. Bob humbly accepted the award and mentioned, “The true award winners are the participants. Look at Kelly, who had every reason to give up, and she didn’t. She stuck with it and became self-sufficient.”
Bucks County Commissioners Bob Harvie and Gene DiGirolamo and State Representative Craig Staats were also in attendance for this remarkable event.
For over 58 years, BCOC, as the lead poverty-reducing agency in the county, has served low-income families in Bucks County by providing housing and emergency services to help them stabilize when in crisis; individualized coaching services to help build resources necessary for economic stability; ongoing distribution of food through its network of 70+ sites; free income tax preparation services, and weatherization services.