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Last updated: November 20. 2013 6:57PM - 651 Views
Agnes Hapka ahapka@civitasmedia.com



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MASON COUNTY —At the recent Mason County Family Resource Network meeting, Diana Riddle of the health department told those gathered about plans for a town hall meeting to address the prevalence of heroin and marijuana use in the county.


The meeting, which is part of an effort through the Anti-Drug Coalition to make meetings more accessible to everyone, will be held tonight at 5:30 p.m. at the New Haven Community Center.


Riddle added that Mason County Health Department that the coalition’s October Drug Take-Back day was a success, with those attending expressing their expression for the opportunity to safely dispose of unneeded prescription drugs.


Greg Fowler, director, told the group that the FRN applied to the Greenbrier Toy Project for 800 toys, which he plans to pick up on December 16. He said that the toys are intended for needy families in the area; some will be funneled through Mountain State Healthy Families, the baby pantry, and Toys for Tots.


“These are for people who have not already signed up with other agencies for Christmas gifts,” added Roxanne Smith of the Heart of Appalachia Educational Outreach Center.


Fowler also talked about the Mason County Family Christmas, which is set for 10 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturday, December 7 at the Old Central Elementary School gym.Various community organizations are planning to set up tables with children’s activities such as Christmas crafts and face-painting, and snacks and drinks. Organizations will stuff goody bags for children on December 6.


The Early Childhood team continues to work on its Brain Under Construction Zone project, said John Machir. Machir, who is the director of Mountain State Healthy Families, reported on a family fun night held recently at one of the local elementary schools.


Last month’s baby pantry was a success, said Fowler, with more than 75 families attending. November’s baby pantry is this Monday, November 25, from 1-3 p.m. at the Harmon Park Youth Center.


“One of the things I’m really happy with about the baby pantry is that some of the families who have received things from the pantry have brought them back for other families,” added Machir, “So they’re beginning to contribute back.”


Wayne Bailey, director of the homeless shelter, said that staff and the intern have been busy packing foodbaskets for the needy this holiday season.


He also mentioned the Point in Time count, coming up in January. The purpose of the count is to figure out regional numbers of homeless. The problem in this area, he said, is that during the winter the homeless often aren’t visible so in order to get an accurate count people will need to go into more secluded, wooded areas. Bailey said he is looking to recruit volunteers to aid in the count.


“Any help would be appreciated.”


Paula Gregory of the Contact of Mason Rape Crisis Center said that Tuesday’s stalking awareness training was a success, with 24 people attending from around the county.


Roxanne Smith provided an update on the eduational outreach center, saying that there is still time for people to register for Spring semester. She talked about a future event — College Goal Sunday to be held on February 9. Financial Aid counselors will be present, Smith said, to assist people with filling out their Fafsa applications.


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