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Community Resources uses fair to reach kids in need

Photo by Michael Kelly Lynn Doebrich (right) and RSVP volunteer Charlotte Kuehn look over children’s clothing available to give away during the community resource fair held at Washington Elementary School Friday.

More than half a dozen big tables set up along one side of the gym were piled with children’s clothing as the community resource fair began at Washington Elementary School Friday morning.

Lynn Doebrich, the Marietta City Schools counselor who organized the event, said the clothing was set out to be taken at no charge by anyone who needs it.

“This is what we didn’t have room for in Tabby’s Clothesline,” she said. Tabby’s Clothesline is a district-wide project to supply children in need with good clothing to wear to school.

Elsewhere around the gym, agency tables were set up to provide information on an array of services ranging from immunizations to helping families in need pay their laundry expenses.

Cindy Davis sat at the Children and Families First table, representing a coordinating group of several county agencies.

“We offer prenatal to age 3 help, early intervention, home visits, free parenting classes, child safety seat fittings – we come to you – and trauma-informed care training to the public and to agencies,” she said, indicating an array of pamphlets. “We have monthly meetings with our agencies to identify service gaps.”

At the next table, five young women from the Marietta High School community health workers group offered information about The Laundry Project, a donor-supported program that pays the expense of doing laundry for families.

“It’s discreet, we meet the families at the Laundromat and provide a credit card to use for the washers and dryers,” Jillian Middleton, a senior, said. “They need a referral from an agency, a church or a group. We focus mainly on larger families, but there’s also assistance available for the homeless.”

Beth Casto and Diana Drost sat ready to hand out information on the city of Marietta Health Department services. Casto said flu immunizations are still in demand, including on-site shot clinics for businesses and agencies.

“It will keep going through the end of the year, probably a bit into the new year,” she said.

Washington-Morgan Community Action representatives Melissa Doan and Barb Weaver sat at a table buried in pamphlets and fliers about the array of services the agency offers. Head Start, Early Head Start, WIC, veterans support programs and services to help the economically disadvantaged with heating and water bills were among the services noted by Doan.

“We’re really trying to promote these things; we’re sort of a staple in the community,” Weaver said.

Brandi Koscho and Sarah Miller staffed the Educational Talent Search booth, which has an office at Washington State Community College.

“We work with students grade six to 12 for college readiness,” Koscho said. “We help them figure out an education plan for their careers. It’s a free service, we do college visits, summer camps, and we can arrange fee waivers for ACT and college entrance exams.”

Koscho said her office serves 825 students in four counties.

“We help them explore their options,” she said.

Andrew Kingry stood ready to help anyone who came in. The Marietta High School senior is dedicated to volunteering and service work, with plans to attend Muskingum University next year to study nursing.

“I’ve benefited from Tabby’s Clothesline. I know how important it can be,” he said.

Doebrich said any clothing left at the end of the day would be donated to the Zonta Club for sale in its annual Unique Boutique fundraiser in November.

The resource fair was an event of Every Child Needs a Hero, sponsored by the Marietta City Schools District McKinney-Vento grant.

Michael Kelly can be contacted at mkelly@mariettatimes.com

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