Inter-Agency Council hears post-Holiday Project report, 2017 dates set

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The Saline County Inter-Agency Council's 2016 Holiday Project served a total of 1,345 people.

That estimate is according to Project Chair Sandy Hisle, who counted 945 of that estimate to be children. Hisle reported the project had already received a $1,500 grant from Walmart to go toward the 2017 holidays. She said plans were to continue the current fundraising methods for the project, including donation letters and the sale of t-shirts.

The 2017 project will once again be held at the Martin Community Center. The date was announced for Thursday, Dec. 14, with preparation days on Dec. 12-13, a week later than in previous years.

"A couple of reasons we did that -- one is that Toys for Tots is a huge donator of toys, and we just feel like we'll be able to get those toys in without as much panic and missing toys the day before the project this year, so we were kind of in a panic as to what we had -- whether we needed to shop more," Hisle said. "Also, we just felt like that maybe that would give the ability that the kids would actually get them on Christmas. There was some concern that, you know, it's hard to keep things hidden for that long, you know, from kids."

In addition to the toys distributed at the Martin Center, Hisle reported more toys from the project were distributed through Great Circle, the foster parents program, and other toy collection locations in both Marshall and Slater.

In other business at the council's Tuesday, Jan. 24, meeting, the process of crafting new Inter-Agency Council brochures to be distributed was completed Tuesday as the council was presented the first edition of the new copies. The council approved the final edits to the edition in October 2016.

"This is the first printing, and if you see changes that need to be made, don't panic," council member Richard DeFord said. "We're printing these as needed. They have a date on the back of them, as of the last edit, so if you know, for example, we distributed things that were edited this month, and you happen to be out and about and you see one from six months ago, just know it's old and go ahead and pull it. That's always something we've got to stay on top of is pulling those old brochures. I'm all the time finding old brochures around."

A status update concerning the DIGS house, a transitional home for homeless youth, will be prepared for next month's council meeting, scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 28.

Additional reports from representatives of council member organizations were as follows:

- Cindy Homan and Geni Harms, Katy Trail Community Health - Katy Trail's mobile dental clinic will return to Marshall during the summer, and potentially every summer. Katy Trail clinics currently exist in Sedalia, Warsaw and Versailles, in addition to Marshall. Services include medical visits, dental visits, psychological and behavioral health, nutrition assistance, women's health and family planning. Same Day Kids, a program in partnership with Marshall Public Schools, works to transport and treat children whose parents might have difficulty transporting them to the doctor.

- Lindsey Parton, Marshall Public Schools - Project Share is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 3, coinciding with school registration. The all-day event is anticipated to be even bigger than last year. School registration will be available online this year. The district will continue its partnership with Katy on the Go, a mobile dental clinic from Katy Trail Community Health.

- Trish Savage, University of Missouri Extension - A Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program will be offered in Marshall for four days to assist with federal and state tax filing. The dates and times have yet to be confirmed. Personal finance programs will be available through a partnership with Powerhouse Community Development Corporation. The SNAP food stamps program has been renamed "Skills Up," and will include a partnership between MU Extension and the Division of Workforce Development to provide additional personal finance programs.

- Jose Quiroz, Missouricare - Show Me Smiles will continue for a sixth year across the state. The program brings educational programs into schools about dental health. Four Marshall schools have been selected for programs in February.

- Jacki Carton, Mental Health Association of Saline County - The Suicide Prevention Committee discussed trauma-based motives for suicide and issues with care for military veterans in Saline County. Missouri Valley College's program for a Master's degree in counseling expects 20 graduates this year, compared to a usual estimate of four, potentially helping address a shortage of available counselors in the county.

- Jean Harms and Marsha Williams, Civil Air Patrol - Meetings continue each Saturday excepting holidays at the Marshall Memorial Municipal Airport. Nine cadets and almost as many senior members were in attendance at the latest meeting. Training includes leadership, aerospace, emergency service, search and rescue, air and ground, communications, physical fitness, and basic first aid and CPR training. Cadets can potentially reach a certain achievement and earn an opportunity to visit a military base. Three cadets visited Fort Riley Army base in Kansas over Christmas break.

- Marilyn Rimmer, Foster Grandparents - There are currently openings in Saline County for interested parties 55 years of age or older to join the program.

- Heather Johnson, Parents as Teachers - Bedtime Stories, in partnership with Marshall Public Library, will be Thursday, Feb. 9, from 6-7 p.m. for kids 5 years old or younger.

- Mary Ann Gilpin, United Way - United Way did not reach its annual fundraising goal. A United Way of Saline County board meeting to determine the distribution of available funds to non-profit agencies in the county had not yet occurred at the time of the Inter-Agency Council meeting.

- Jeanine Falls and Tori Jones, Powerhouse Community Development Corporation - Wednesday, Jan. 25, is a point-in-time annual count of sheltered and unsheltered homeless conducted by the Missouri Department of Housing and Urban Development. Parent Cafe Trainings, a support group for parents, will be held Feb. 7, 14, and 21 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. A Missouri Housing Commission representative will present on housing systems in the area Thursday, Feb. 9.

- Ronda Wickham and Jamie Torres, Missouri Valley Community Action Agency - A start date for the next Habitat for Humanity house has been set for March 1, weather permitting. There is an 8-9 month wait list for MVCAA housing assistance. Those in more urgent need are encouraged to contact the Marshall Housing Authority. Early head start is full, but openings remain for 3-5 year olds. Applications for those 5 and older are not accepted after Aug. 1.

- Richard DeFord, Fitzgibbon Hospital - The Fling gala at the Martin Community Center has been scheduled for April 7. The Pete H. Rea Golf Tournament is scheduled for July 8. A date for the health fair has not yet been set.

Contact Arron Hustead at ahustead@marshallnews.com

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