My name is Courtney Laramore and I work for the best kept secret in the surrounding areas. East Missouri Action Agency is a not-for-profit community action agency which was established in 1965. A lot of people, myself being one until I came to work here in 1999, had no idea what EMAA was nor what even a community action agency entails. I’ve asked a lot of people and their usual response is “Do they pay electric bills”? Granted, we do provide energy assistance to those in need, we have so many other wonderful programs in our agency to help our communities. EMAA’s Central Office is based in Park Hills, MO but we serve eight counties in Missouri: Bollinger, Cape Girardeau, Iron, Madison, Perry, St. Francois, Ste. Genevieve, and Washington. Last year alone we helped over 18,000 people.
EMAA provides services to families who need an extra boost to become self-sufficient to the best of their abilities. We provide so many services (which can be seen at www.eastmoaa.org) of which include: utility assistance, emergency assistance, food pantry vouchers, women’s wellness (as well as for men), free preschool for children 3-5 years of age, tax prep, rental assistance, and home weatherization.
EMAA’s mission is to cultivate communities of opportunity and support people in reaching their highest potential. We, as a community, need to always work hard to make sure our community is what we hope for it to be for ourselves, our children, and our grandchildren. We can sit back and complain or we can take action and help our fellow man to achieve their highest potential. That is what makes a community great; helping others and changing lives. Volunteer anytime at one of our outreach offices and see what amazing things EMAA is doing to better our communities!