In the heart of Oxford, Pennsylvania there is a place that offers a lifeline to people in need.
Neighborhood Services Center (NSC) is a small operation with a small staff but the service that it provides is big, especially to people living and working in this rural area and especially in the current economic times.
Founded in 1971, NSC doesn’t have counselors on staff; it doesn’t offer typical social service programs. What NSC offers is far more valuable. It offers connections – links between people who need services and people who provide them.
According to its website, this privately run, non-profit is still focused on its original goal of assisting people to achieve health, wholeness and stability in their lives by:
- Establishing a link between people who want to reach out to help others.
- Offering people with questions, problems or emergency needs a place to explore options and/or find answers.
- Providing space for county agencies and community programs to deliver services directly to people.
People who come to NSC for help can also receive emergency assistance services like food, clothing, rent and utility assistance.
NSC relies on funding from 4 other regional agencies — United Way of Southern Chester County, Chester County’s Department of Human Services, the Health and Welfare Foundation of Southern Chester County and the Oxford Area Civic Association. It also relies heavily on volunteers who put in thousands of hours a year to ensure help is available when and where it’s needed.
NSC is not sexy. It’s not going to make headlines nor is it going to be featured on national television. But it is going to continue its 40 year tradition of providing help, advice and resources to the people who live in and near its office.
From my chair, this agency and the people behind it belong on the list of 365 people who are helping to change the world.
Know any other people in your town or city who are helping others? Send me the name of the group and any info you want to share and I will do the rest.