Doors of Success Foundation and Councilman André Spivey partner to bring healthful resources and school supplies to the community.
You would be hard-pressed to find a child excited about trading the freedom and ease of summer for the classroom. Who could blame them, really? But District 4 Councilman André Spivey and the Doors of Success Foundation have managed to turn preparing for the upcoming school year into an afternoon of games, rides, exotic animals, and free school supplies and health screenings.
The fifth annual Family Fun Day & Community Health Fair kicks off on Aug. 25 at Chandler Park on Detroit’s Eastside. “We will have over 60 different vendors that will be providing different free resources and services for the community,” says Shalamar Guerrant, founder and executive director of Doors of Success. The Detroit-based organization uses a four-tiered approach – mentoring, entrepreneurship, life skills and community outreach – to “educate and empower the entire family.”
Doors of Success has partnered with Spivey’s office to deliver this event, which will feature backpack giveaways in addition to an array of health-related testing, check-ups and resources. Children will have access to free dental cleanings and screenings, and pharmacy representatives will be on hand administering flu shots. Attendees are also invited to take advantage of free HIV/AIDS testing, blood pressure, body mass index and vision screenings, and mammograms for women over 40 will be performed right there. Fresh fruits and vegetables will be given away as well.
“This event is important to residents that lack healthcare. Children are more susceptible to encounter the dangers of juvenile diabetes and hypertension.” says Guerrant. “Without proper testing and/or preventative methods, this can lead to poor overall school performance.” The event wouldn’t be possible without the support of sponsors like UnitedHealthcare. Guerrant says, “UnitedHealthcare partnered with us last year to provide services.” She says that Spivey’s support has also been instrumental. “His office brings a lot of financial support and city resources to the table. Because of our partnership in 2015, together we’ve hosted 2,200 residents, and we continue to grow to help more families each year.”
Financial health will be addressed as well with the brand new My Money Matters financial repair and financial literacy workshop. “With that class, families are able to come in (and) get information regarding preparing a mortgage, personal and business banking, and also financial awareness,” she says.
More the little ones’ speed, probably, will be exploring the helicopter and fire engine that’ll be parked onsite. The Detroit Police Chopper Unit will be in the house, and children will be allowed to sit inside the aircraft and take photos wearing the pilot’s helmet. The Detroit Fire Department will also be there giving children the opportunity to hop on and explore the truck. Also hopping around will be a kangaroo, alligator and other exotic animals with which tikes can get up close and personal. Or if that’s too wild, how about just enjoying the food, DJ, face painting, haircuts and more?
“It’s something for the whole family to do, and they also explore Chandler Park while they are there. So, it’s a fun-filled day and kids have a great time every time they come,” Spivey says. He’ll be present along with Mayor Mike Duggan, who in past years has spent time walking the park, meeting residents and answering questions, and taking pictures.
For Spivey, he says, “It’s really a time for me to meet some of our neighbors and children I can’t see all the time. But we work. We come and we are sweating and tired when we get done. We’re there to work and serve those that make up our city, and it’s been a wonderful opportunity (for them) to receive what we give them that day.” He adds, “Oftentimes we don’t have a lot in our neighborhoods to give back to our children. And we want to expose them to stuff they don’t see every day, just to be in a safe environment, having fun and right in your own city.”
Aug. 25, noon-4 p.m., Chandler Park