Samaritas, one of the largest faith-based human services organizations in the state of Michigan, is hosting its first large, collaborative health fair at the Samaritas Community Center in Saginaw August 17, offering the community tools to empower families to be healthy on a budget.
Part of the motivation behind this impressive event is Samaritas’ dedication to creating a continuum of care through its skilled nursing, home care and care management programs and facilities statewide. The organization has been devoted for the past several years to creating a steady pipeline of care for people to seamlessly get the care they need at every stop of the healing process without having to search for providers.
The event, which takes place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., brings together vendors and community organizations in a collaborative effort to empower families toward healthful living. With the support of Molina Healthcare, Samaritas is teaming up with dozens of community organizations and vendors to provide health screenings, check blood pressure and cholesterol, offer HIV testing, and perform children’s dental assessments.
“Samaritas is dedicated to empowering families to live healthfully,” says Vickie Thompson-Sandy, Samaritas President. “Improving health one family at a time builds a stronger overall community.”
Deb Sloss, Samaritas Director of Care Management who is spearheading the planning of this event, is “pleased with the overwhelming public response to our event with more than 35 organizations participating under one roof for the citizens of Saginaw.”
The Mobile Health Unit from The Boys and Girls Club will provide vision and BMI testing for children ages 5 to 19. Participants can attend sessions on caregiver stress, exercise for the elderly and budget-friendly healthy meal planning, and Meijer will be giving away cookbooks featuring nutritious recipes.
There will also be a job fair, with employment opportunities and guidance for individuals looking to create a resume; and kids can enjoy face painting, a bounce house, games and drawing, handmade granola bars created by Samaritas registered dietitian Ashley Taylor, and nutritious snacks provided by Meijer, United Dairy Industry of Michigan and Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church of Saginaw.
Thanks to the generosity of St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church of Bridgeport, 50 kids will receive backpacks filled with school supplies, and Elzinga and Volkers, Inc. has made a generous donation to help many kids receive a new pair of shoes to start the school year off right.
In addition to all of the vendors providing services and local churches and businesses that have provided supplies, Covenant HealthCare and the Sloss family have provided additional financial support for the event.
Raising healthy children means making sure they are properly prepared to attend school and succeed academically, notes Sloss. “We welcome donations of school supplies to donate to families throughout the community. People can stop by our Saginaw Community Center to drop off donations of supplies in the next few weeks or bring them to the health fair on August 17th,” she adds.
The fair will also feature many support services including food pantries, adoption services, health insurance information, and voter’s registration applications on-site. The Michigan Blood Bank will also be available to accept blood donations at the event.
“Samaritas is founded on a principle of serving people as an expression of the love of Christ,” says Sam Beals, Samaritas CEO. “This exciting community event embodies our goal of connecting families and communities, empowering individuals to live their fullest life possible, and creating a ripple effect of transformation that keeps on giving for generations.”
Samaritas has been sending ripples of positive change into Michigan communities since 1934. Prior to April 2016, Samaritas operated as Lutheran Social Services of Michigan. Samaritas serves others in need without regard to religion, race, sexual orientation, or ethnicity and provides resettlement for new Americans, adoption and foster care, and at-home services and residential communities for seniors and persons with disabilities, through assisted living, skilled nursing and memory care.
Estate-quality and affordable living residential communities also are available for independent seniors, and property management services for third-party affordable living communities.
More than safe harbor in crisis, Samaritas comes through when others don’t, with a path home. The organization connects all people based on their individual circumstances with the families and communities that will empower them to live their fullest life possible. Potential fulfilled, those served then promote the dignity of others, launching into the community an unending ripple effect of transformation.
For information, visit www.samaritas.org.
Samaritas Community Health Fair & Family Fun Event
August 17, 2016
11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Samaritas Community Center
3145 Russell Street
Saginaw, MI 48601