Jennifer Odama
On Saturday, October 29, the SAR Community Outreach Committee will be handing out CFL bulbs and treats to approximately 2,000 adults and children at the Mutual Assistance Network of Del Paso Heights’ annual Harvest Festival being held at the Johnston Community Center located at 231 Eleanor Avenue. The Mutual Assistance Network is a non-profit community development corporation that utilizes the skills and talents of the residents of Del Paso Heights to create economic change. One way this has been achieved is through partnerships between individuals and agencies. In a classroom setting, for example, an unemployed person is paired up with someone who has connections to find employment. A second way this has been achieved is by raising the quality of life. The Mutual Assistance Network started a farmers’ market and expanded course offerings to include computer instruction. A third way is by teaching parents to be guides and advocates for their children in the educational system. These changes have made significant impacts on the Del Paso Heights community. From 2005 – 2008, crime decreased by more than 44%; in the last 10 years the median income level has increased $17,209; and 98% of the 500 participants in the Mutual Assistance Network’s afterschool programs were promoted to the next grade level during the 2008-09 school year. For more information about the Mutual Assistance Network of Del Paso Heights, visit www.MutualAssistance.com.