Anson County community meeting to fight poverty planned for Feb. 18

By: By Sandy Bruney - For the Record

Anson NETworX for Hope invites the community to participate in an informative meeting Saturday, Feb. 18, at First United Methodist Church.

NETworX, formerly Circles, is a program designed to build relationships across lines of socio-economic class, culture and race with the goal of helping organize people for a better life. NETworX’s strategy is not to end poverty though the well-doing for others but through the well-being together. It is individuals and communities seeking together to build intentional relationships through education and love of neighbor as well as love of self.

Under the leadership of the Rev. Norma Villagrana, the new ministry will work to help people move from poverty to self-sufficiency. Villagrana believes that NETworX will bring a new and fresh start to the community.

“Anson County was one of the 64 Circles sites across America that made a positive impact in this community,” Villagrana said. “Circles empowered families with the knowledge and social capital they need to overcome the barriers of life in poverty and become self-sustaining. NETworX is a faith-based program committed to the core values of love for the neighbor and transforming lives.”

Villagrana said that NETworX brings together members of the community who are middle class (called “Allies”) and members of the community (called “Champions of Change”). An Ally is an individual working with Champions to overcome obstacles and reach their goals, and a Champion of Change is an individual who wants to improve his/her life and to make changes to move toward greater well-being.

“This is what NETworX does,” she said.

Villagrana was born and raised in Torreon, Coahuila, Mexico. She graduated from the school of law in Mexico. For several years she worked in a law firm and later became the director of technical school in her native town.

She and her family moved to the United States in 2002, and along with her husband, Hector, they become missionaries for the Missouri Conference of the United Methodist Church. They started a new Hispanic Ministry in the Springfield, Missouri area, and since then she has been involved with initiatives that help people to end poverty and assisting families that have domestic conflicts, sometimes involving neglected/abused children and substance abuse.

Last June, she and her family moved to North Carolina where her in-laws reside. She strongly believes that families need to be together. She is serving as pastor at the Polkton Charge in the Uwharrie District of the United Methodist Church. Her call to ministry and her passion has moved her to serve also as the director of NETworX for Hope in Anson County.

First United Methodist Church is located at 118 East Morgan Street, Wadesboro. The meeting is from 9 to 11:45 a.m. on Feb. 18. Refreshments will be provided.

NETworX will meet every Thursday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at First United Methodist Church in Wadesboro. A meal, childcare and transportation will be provided by NETworX at no cost to the participants.

To find out more information about participating in this program, email Norma Villagrana at or call or text 816-351-4232.


By Sandy Bruney

For the Record