Home Announcements The Benevolent Association: A New Force For Good in Susanville

The Benevolent Association: A New Force For Good in Susanville


We are a town full of resources – agencies, organizations and individuals that contribute services to all strata of the local populace. Gathering, coordinating and raising awareness of those services is the focus of a new group called the Benevolent Association, made up of representatives from groups throughout the community.

The ultimate goal of the Benevolent Association is to create an interwoven and comprehensive resource that makes it easy to find services when a need arises. It will also allow the groups to coordinate calendars and share knowledge and ideas with other organizations around town.

“We would like to end up with a matrix for the community,” explains Gary Felt, one of the group’s organizers, “so anybody, say law enforcement, finds somebody walking down the street who looks like they could use help, or assistance, they’ll have a resource to draw from.”

“They can call and say, ‘I have this woman, who has a child with her, they don’t know where they are sleeping tonight and they don’t know where they are going to get formula for the baby,’ and then law enforcement, or whoever is in the situation, can refer to the matrix.”

“What I have noticed, not just as a Police Officer but in some of the volunteering I do in the community,” says Terra Avilla who is spearheading the Benevolence initiative, “is that we have a small community, but we have a lot of really cool resources. What we need to do is make people aware of them.”

Avilla pointed to the local response to last year’s Camp Fire of an example of the need for an organized and holographic plan for resource management. The need for services during the Camp Fire was so big locally that it became overwhelming and no one agency could handle it. It became imperative that information be shared – and this Committee strives to make that process easier during future times of need.

Food vouchers, housing vouchers and help with utilities are just some of the services available, yet many who could use them are never aware of their existence.

“What we are trying to do is have our left hand talk to our right hand so we can help people better. We want to streamline our communications with each other.”

The Benevolent Association’s next meeting will be held this Thursday, April 25th, at 10:00 in the Senior Center on Sunkist Street. If your group or organization would like to be a part of this wonderful initiative or if you would just like to learn more about how you can help you are invited to stop by.

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