West Virginia State Treasurer John Perdue believes in organizations that take a hands-on approach to helping the state's residents - and one of those organizations is Weirton's Change Inc. Community Action Partnership.
"I believe we need to have hands-on experiences like this to see what is really going on and see how we can best help the state's residents," Perdue said during a Wednesday tour of the Change Inc. facilities on West Street.
When learning about one of the federally, state and locally funded nonprofit organization's education programs, Perdue said, "If you want to change a child's life, you do it through education. If you don't educate the next generation, you cannot expect to change West Virginia."
Photo by Casey Junkins
West Virginia State Treasurer John D. Perdue examines some prescription drugs at Change Inc. Community Action Partnership in Weirton. Joining Perdue are, from left, Change Inc. pharmacist Monica Pulice and Executive Director Judy Raveaux.
Change Inc. Executive Director Judy Raveaux was very glad to have Perdue visit her office.
"I think it is vitally important for elected politicians to tour these organizations. For us to share what we do with the treasurer is important," she said.
One of the Change Inc. programs that impressed Perdue was the prescription drug program. Raveaux said the organization sold 20,500 prescriptions between January and October 2008.
"We paid $149,000 for the drugs and sold them for $360,000. ... On the open-market, those drugs would have been valued at $2.6 million," Raveaux said, noting Change Inc. saved its clients nearly $2.3 million during that time period.
Raveaux said another area Change Inc. will be focusing on is the First-Time Home Buyer Program.
She said the organization will be working to buy recently foreclosed homes with the goal of placing the original owners back into the homes.
Perdue said the problems with which Change Inc. deals are not unique to the Weirton area.
"These problems are statewide and nationwide. ... We need to help organizations like this as much as we can to ensure they can meet the needs of those they serve," he said.