Several Friendship churches are joining together next week for a new community Family Day Celebration and Wellness Fair, with a simple meal, kid’s games, hundreds of dollars in giveaways and prizes, and information on community resources which can benefit individuals and families being provided.
The free event will be held from 5PM to 7PM on Monday, September 25, at the Friendship Bible Baptist Church at 43 West Main Street and not only will reflect the national observance’s focus on families coming together each day to share a meal, but to provide resources to help in such endeavors.
Family Day, held annually on the fourth Monday in September, celebrates simple, everyday activities which parents can do with their kids, like sharing a meal, playing a game, or asking about their day.
Founded over 20 years ago by the national Center on Addiction, studies have found that these low-cost focuses for bringing families together can create strong, healthy relationships which can help prevent future drug use.
Parents having a warm, supportive relationship with their children, organizers say, is linked to better judgment, increased self-control, stronger social skills, self-confidence, better emotional responses, improved school performance, and resilience, all strengths which can help reduce these risks for children.
Friendship churches have been coming together to focus on building strong children, youth and families environments and are moving forward with an initiative to engage a children, youth and families ministry director on a volunteer, part-time or full-time basis, to aid in this initiative.
Interested individuals can contact Allegany Hope, project coordinator, at AlleganyHopeWNY@outlook.com or (585) 664-9989 for additional information.
On Family Day, the churches will provide a hot dog, chips and beverage to attendees, with children and parents able to enjoy simple play and learn about community resources.
Among features of the event will be focuses on availability of no-cost Head Start services at an ACCORD community center or at home for children six weeks to five years of age; a weekly United Church of Friendship after-school Good News Club for third through fifth graders; and an after-school and summer and vacations ministry for area children and youth from Gil’s Hills of Wellsville.
Also, access from Allegany Hope to over 20,000 online videos for children, youth and parents, including wholesome cartoons and sound decision-making practices for children and parents; and simple recipes, including samples, for healthy snacks from the Cornell Cooperative Extension-Allegany County Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP).
For older individuals, the Allegany County Office for the Aging will provide information about its services, including its subsidized daily and weekly nutritional meals for older residents at its Friendship and other county centers, a local and area restaurants dining initiative, and home meals delivery; services provided by the Alzheimer’s Association of Western New York to learn about various types of Alzheimer’s and other dementia; and various church ministry outreaches.
For those struggling with food insecurities, Human Service Development of Wellsville will be providing $40 vouchers per family, while supplies last, for purchases at local farmer markets under a Mother Cabrini Health Foundation fruit and vegetable prescription (FVRx) initiative; Directions in Independent Living Nutrition Outreach and Education Program (NOEP), also of Wellsville, will assist those with disabilities in obtaining Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, including re-certifications; and information will be available about local food pantry distributions at Mission Agape of the Friendship Church of God in Christ.
Human Services Development also will be providing the latest information on fall and winter COVID prevention, as numbers of those being inflicted start to increase again, with Allegany Hope having information about its resources website and group Facebook page which include weather data and free and primarily-free events.
Family Life Network of Bath, which has a 89.1FM radio station site in Friendship, will be highlighting its children and families-focused programming, along with other services, such as its local summer youth theater ministry. It will be providing giveaways and prizes, valued at several hundred dollars, which can aid in strengthening children and families.
A resources brochure also will be provided to attending individuals and families.
Updated information on additional activities scheduled for Family Day will be made available on the Friendship churches group Facebook page at What God is Doing in Friendship ny. More ways in which families can celebrate every day, including a free Parent Toolkit: Making Everyday Special, is at CASAFamilyDay.org.