POINT PLEASANT — The Mason County Family Resource Network (FRN) met on Tuesday afternoon to discuss updates and events.
Stakeholders throughout the county — including employees with Women Infants and Children (WIC), Pleasant Valley Hospital, the homeless shelter, addiction and recovery programs and the National Guard — spoke about upcoming events and resources for those in need.
In the reports, the Baby Pantry at Bellemead United Methodist Church will have its spring baby shower on April 17 from 5-7 p.m. Registration for that event will begin soon. The baby pantry is also filling Easter baskets for the pre-k classes this year. The organization reported that they sponsored 220 children for Christmas.
FRN received another vaping case on Tuesday that will be taken to teen court in February. Teen Court handles mostly vaping cases brought from the school and the court is run entirely of teenage students.
FRN was awarded a grant for Anti-Vaping Online Information Dissemination (AVOID), which is a treatment group project. The organization must complete the pilot curriculum by March. They plan to select one school to have 45-75 students aged 12-16 years to complete the program about the dangers of vaping. If FRN successfully completes the project, they keep the curriculum to use with other schools and students in the future.
FRN is planning its annual STEM career day for students in fifth through 12th grades on March 24. The event is open to the community and a location and topic focus will be announced later.
The Career Connections quarterly training will be on March 18 for 16-24 year old individuals. The event will be like the show Shark Tank and participants will come up with a product and pitch it to a panel of local business owners.
The regional WIC office in Parkersburg will have an informational fair on March 31 at 10:30 a.m.
Pleasant Valley Hospital’s BreakThru, a medical withdrawal management program, began at the end of October and now has 50 patients. The service is available to anyone with addition. The program helps patients go through withdrawal and follows-up throughout the year to help them find services.
Jackson County Developmental Center (JCDC) provides employment programs for disabled individuals in 10 counties in West Virginia. Each month the Point Pleasant office, at the corner of Viand and Sixth Street, will have a food sale and one outside event to engage the community. Feb. 3-12, the office will have a candy sale for Valentine’s Day.
Jon Machir, with the Mason County Homeless Shelter, announced to the organization that they were awarded the grant for a new shelter. Machir reminded everyone of the point-in-time count for homeless individuals in the county will be Jan. 22-24.
The Youth Reporting Center is looking for speakers for children and opportunities for community service. Fowler said he hopes to be prepared for a vaping presentation soon to be given to students at the schools.
Mission West Virginia, a non-profit that finds foster and adoptive families, had a representative at the meeting for kinship families. Kinship relatives who take in children often don’t get financial assistance or a case worker to manage the situation. The kinship director works to find resources for families who unexpectedly take on children.
The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) is offering free tax preparation in Cabell, Lincoln, Mason and Wayne counties. In Mason County, the Southwestern Community Action Council will be open on Tuesdays from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
United Way of the River Cities is hosting the 20th annual Super Saturday for families at the Mountain Health Arena. The event is from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and is full of activities, snacks, games and prizes.
The West Virginia Army National Guard Family Assistance Center is hosting its veteran resource fair on April 23 at the Parkersburg office. The event will offer free haircuts and some medial services to veterans and their family members.
The next FRN meeting will be Feb. 18 at 3 p.m. at the courthouse annex.
Kayla Hawthorne is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, extension 1992.