HAPCAP: Connecting, Improving and Changing Lives

Last week, I spent the better part of both Thursday and Friday in Glouster, Ohio equipped with nothing more than a voice recorder, a notepad and my inquisitive mind.

I, along with the content producers for Project C’s Hocking-Athens-Perry Community Action program (HAPCAP) team, conducted interviews with six people — three on each day — in the just more than 24-hour time period. It proved to be one of the best 24-hour time periods I’ve had in quite a while.

HAPCAP is an all-encompassing nonprofit agency that aims to promote self-sufficiency and to improve the qualities of life of those struggling with poverty in Hocking, Athens and Perry counties, as well as in the surrounding areas. HAPCAP runs a multitude of programs that work to improve education, increase employment, improve housing, provide food and provide transportation in southeastern Ohio.

Doug Stanley, Executive Director of HAPCAP, talks about the many programs it provides.

Every time I go throughout Athens County to interview people working for and affected by local nonprofit organizations — which is actually quite frequently — I always return to OU with a fresh perspective on life. This time was no different.

Seeing how truly happy clients are directly because of HAPCAP programs, as well as how genuinely compassionate HAPCAP employees are, restored my faith in humanity in an area where overwhelming poverty statistics can be quite disheartening. Many of the clients experienced complete, 180-degree lifestyle changes for the better because of HAPCAP.

Bill Anderson, user of HAPCAP's Logan Public Transit program,
smiles during an interview.
There are people out there who devote each day to improving the lives of others, and they succeed in doing so more than they know. Every time I’m stressed out about this deadline, that exam or any other life event, I try to remember those people and the lives they are affecting. 

Nikina Fletcher is involved with HAPCAP's By-Car, Learn and Work,
PIPP Plus and Early Head Start programs.
Those people deal with stressful situations every single day and work to make them better, to turn bad into good. I always find that to be truly inspiring and motivating.

Just about an hour ago, I received word that we surpassed our $2,000 fundraising goal. I was so excited thinking about all of the money we’ll be able to give to local nonprofits that I yelled and told the first person I saw — no joke. I still can’t stop smiling.

Project C isn’t something we do for our résumés. It’s something we do because we care about Athens and the people in it. I am so glad I’ve been able to be a part of it for two years.

 - Lindsay Boyle | Writer

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