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Community agencies gather at Sunrise

Community agencies from the YMCA to Christian Ministries set up shop in the Sunrise Community on Thursday evening.
The event was put on by the Sunrise Family Resource Center in an attempt to connect residents with services that already exist in the community.
“If they’re in need of something, there’s some kind of agency out there that can help them,” said Shanda Parker, the Sunrise Family Resource Center Coordinator.
Residents of the Sunrise Community’s low income housing enjoyed free hot dogs and chips, games for children and information for adults.
“The kids love the bubbles. The families are happy to know they have somewhere to go,” said Mitzi Williams, Linc Coordinator with Christian Ministries.
Around 15 agencies had tables set up in the community’s Head Start building. Each table was filled with informative brochures, candy and toys.
In the family resource center, children were painting shells and making macaroni art.
Outside in the parking lot they could enjoy limbo, face painting and a big red fire truck.
Robin Davis, 7, had the name of her boyfriend written on her face in paint.
“He likes me and I like him,” she said.
Like most children in the community, she had a good time at the event.
“You have stuff to do, and people to play with,” she said. “At home, you’re bored.”
Kathy Vinzant, director of Coalition Against Child Abuse, enjoyed watching all the children play.
The coalition provided free dinner and ice cream for the evening.
“It gives us an opportunity to be positive,” said Vinzant. “We just feel like its a way we can give to the community, a way we can have a presence.”
At every corner of the event were children with their faces painted and candy in their mouths. They’re parents weren’t quite so easy to spot.
“We haven’t had many adults so far,” said Louann Freshour, executive director of the Red Cross.
Freshour told residents about disaster prevention, nutrition and fire safety.
Fran Senters, the 4-H program assistant spent time at the event promoting 4-H clubs for children.
“I’m trying to target the Latino population,” said Senters.
The Sunrise Family Resource Center already has two 4-H clubs for children, but none that have materials in Spanish.
Information was also provided by the Literacy Council, Department of Social Services, Police Department and Pathways to name a few.
Putting together the event was a large undertaking for Parker, who is still relatively new at her job. She, however, had a surefire plan.
“No one can say no to free stuff,” said Parker.
Many participants at the event deemed it a success. “It’s a way for anyone to walk in and ask questions and interact in a fun environment,” said Billy Marsh, director of Communities in Schoolsby Sarah Grano

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