WEST END – Although St. Louis was experiencing a grueling heat wave over the weekend, it didn’t stop residents from coming out to the People’s Health Center on 5701 Delmar Boulevard.
On Saturday, the clinic hosted its sixth annual Community Resource & Health Fair, which provided a slew of activities for parents, children and anyone looking for both a good time and an opportunity to educate themselves on the importance of self-care.
Starting about 10 a.m., the fair featured activities for children including carnival-like games, moon bounces and a family-friendly photo booth. Older kids participated in more competitive events such as the dance, hula hoop, and basketball contests for bigger prizes. Lydia Caesar and the Sauce Band performed as the fair’s house band, covering songs of Top 40 hits to add a live soundtrack to the fun had all throughout the day. Free bottled water was scattered around the fair in ice-cold buckets, and the fire department created a water umbrella for people to hydrate.
“[It was important to] increase and improve access to care, services and resources,” said People’s Director of Marketing and Communications, Carl Green.
Aside from the fun activities, the fair included a variety of booths beneficial to the minds and bodies of citizens in St. Louis.
With so much going on in the city, People made it important to educate people while having a great time.
“Prevention is always key,” said Green, “But that requires awareness and knowledge of resources.”
Booths at the fair not only provided supplies and haircuts, preparing children for the upcoming school year, but adults were supported with more personal health booths that provided depression screenings, as well as financial education. It was also the first year free legal advice was provided to locals by the People’s law clinic.
“It’s hot outside, but I think it’s great for the community,” said Lameka Grayson, a former resident of the city who’s visiting family for the summer. “It’s good to see how things have changed, where we’re now doing more things for the kids as they go back to school, because sometimes everybody is not able to get school supplies. They can’t afford to get certain things and can’t afford physicals. So it’s good to actually have a place where they can come and get those things for free.”
While Grayson and other attendees appreciated the fair for the free back-to-school services, self care was a recurring theme that was felt all throughout. Several activities at the fair educated children and parents about the importance of being healthy, but residents weren’t afraid to open up about how important mental care was.
“Self care is very important whether you think about it physically or mentally,” said Rhonda McAlister, a North Pointe resident. “My private time is important. Having regular doctor appointments [are great], but sometimes you just need to be by yourself.”
With six years of experience providing a fun outlet for families, the People’s Health and Community Fair had yet another successful year. More importantly, attendees were able to walk away from it with more awareness about living a healthy and balanced lifestyle.