Thousands of families across Southern Indiana are preparing for the beginning of a new school year just a little bit earlier than in the past.
The new adjusted school calendars are making shopping for clothing, purchases of school supplies and appointments with the doctors a necessity. With all of these preparations comes a stress on time, energy and most of all, money.
For many families such a time also brings discouragement and a feeling of hopelessness. Unemployment, health problems or disabilities have made money tight. Sacrifices need to be made, but what can be trimmed from an already bare-bones budget? It often isn’t a matter of cutting luxuries, but of deciding what necessity will be given up and who will suffer the least when they do without. No wonder this time of year causes somber words to be written on the pages of life’s story.
To that page, Eastside Christian Church wants to add a few words of hope. On Saturday, July 20, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., the church, 2319 Charlestown-New Albany Roa, Jeffersonville, will host its second annual Health and Wellness Clinic. Partnering with Community Action of Southern Indiana (CASI), the event at Eastside will offer free services and goods, as well as the chance to connect with service agencies and organizations in the community.
Local doctors, dentists and optometrists will be donating their time and several services during those hours. Clothing for children through adults have been gathered from hundreds of people, sorted and displayed for the event. Lunchtime food will be available for those who attend. Personal care items that often get overlooked because of finances — like haircuts and other personal hygiene — will be offered. Photographers will be present to offer folks a family picture.
Many agencies will have representatives for people to make needed contacts all in one convenient location.
Jackie Love, coalition coordinator for Grassroots, the CASI organization that works to promote the prevention of teen substance abuse, is excited to be a part of the venture.
“Our vision is to unite the community in making Clark County free from youth substance abuse and this kind of event means the world to us,” she said. She added that the venture will be a success if they are able to reach the people in the community who need services and if they can encourage youth and parents to be ambassadors for a substance-free lifestyle.
Hundreds of members of the church are volunteering their time and will greet people as they arrive. The volunteers will get a chance to listen to their stories and help map out a plan to meet the most pressing needs. They will accompany them from station to station, easing the anxiety and confusion that often arises. And along the way the church members will get a chance to share their own story — a story of the fingerprints of God’s love on life.
“If someone comes on Saturday and sees that people are caring and compassionate,” said David Parkerson, outreach minister at Eastside, said, “t may cause them to be interested in the story of a loving God that would motivate people to love in such a way. If the pressures of providing for the necessities of life are lessened, if one person starts searching for Christ because of this day, then we’ve done the thing we set out to do.”
For more information about the event, call the Eastside Christian Church at 812-288-9061 or simply show up at the church on Saturday morning at 10 a.m.