Party in the Park: August 30th 3-6 PM Gaiser

Party in the Park:  Free Activities, Free Food, Free (LIMITED QUANITITY) Car & Booster Seats
When the Jackson County Breastfeeding Coalition met early this spring, they knew they wanted to host an event during National Breastfeeding Month that connected families to more activities in the community, information about breastfeeding, education about car and booster seat safety, and the opportunity for moms who are nursing to be comfortable in a public setting.  The Jackson County Breastfeeding Coalition includes Schneck Medical Center, New Hope Services WIC, Healthy Jackson County, and a few moms who like to promote the importance of breastfeeding.  
The Party in the Park will be on Thursday, August 30th from 3-6 PM at Gaiser Park.  Last August, the group co-hosted, the first Party in the Park at Gaiser Park and teamed up with Jackson County United Way for the neighborhood block party promotion. “When the Breastfeeding Coalition called and said let’s do this again, I was eager too.  During our Community Conversations over the last two years, residents have asked for more free family friendly events,” Couch said.  
Couch added, “the opportunity to connect this Coalition’s work to the Caring 4 Kids Council and Covering Kids & Families was a match made for families with children ages 0-6, in order to help families have access to new car or booster seats with technicians that can ensure they are being used properly and more information about getting enrolled in health coverage.  As a mom of three kids under six, this is a valuable resource to families that might be having a difficult time making ends meet.  The average cost of a new car seat is $150 and new booster is $40.  As an example, if all my seats were expired and I needed them replaced, this event would save me $230.  Families need access to services like this to ensure their children are safe- and used the money saved for basic needs like food or clothing.  As confusing as health insurance is today, it is important to residents to know that United Way is here to help them and their children get and keep healthcare coverage.” 
“This event is so exciting because it is a great opportunity to promote breastfeeding and child safety in a fun environment.  If you are a nursing mom or have a child that is still in a car or booster seat this will be a great event for you and your family,” shared Molly Marshall, with Purdue Extension and member of Healthy Jackson County. 
“The common theme of all of partners is improving community health and wellness.  What a great event to offer these services in a fun, family friendly atmosphere,” shared Diane Ortel, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) at Schneck Medical Center.  Amie Brunner, Schneck Medical Center OB Nurse added, “Community outreach is a great way to build positive relationships with the community. This event is also a great way to spread a positive message and bring people together.  Kids love parks, the atmosphere is perfect, and the location is accessible to all types of people- so much can be offered.  The event isn’t only for moms that have breastfed, but for all parents to learn more about supports in our community.”
Caring 4 Kids Council Co-Chair and Child Care Network Executive Director, Kate Garrity shared, “The opportunity to co-host an event in late summer is perfect for ensuring that children are safe while traveling to and from school.  Through the partnership with Indiana State Department of Health for booster seats; Children’s Bureau for car seats; and Schneck Medical Center for technicians- families coming to this event will know that their car or booster seat is properly installed and used correctly, while replacing expired items with new.”  
“The car and booster seat give away has sparked additional collaborations and communication- there is a great value for families with children to attend this event.  There will be a lot of fun games and healthy snacks for children,” add Charlotte Moss Caring 4 Kids Council Co-Chair and Turning Point Domestic Violence Services Community Services Director.  And continued, “We are also excited to have many partners here to connect with parents and caregivers about available services.  The event is important because it allows people to receive information from organizations they may have never connected with on their own.  It provides the opportunity to have a face to face conversation and develop a relationship.”
Marshall added, “The beauty of this event is it is showing all the work being done by coalitions and offers the opportunity for deeper connections for members so we don’t continue working in silos, but working to achieve common goals.”  Couch agreed, “That’s right, in the community conversations residents are demanding real collaboration where partners work together for the betterment of the community.”  Brunner added, “Working together with this many partners makes the community that we live in stronger and helps us to realize each other's potential and what we can offer. It also helps us to think of what is possible and create new opportunities.”