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Impact Day accomplishes its aim

Gainesville Sun: by Aida Mallard

Gainesville, Fla — The aim of Impact Day that’s part of a church convention is to do just that – have an impact on the community.

Held Tuesday morning at Upper Room Ministries in northeast Gainesville, Impact Day was held as a sort of kick-off event for the Florida Central Second Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction’s Auxiliaries in Ministry (AIM) 2021 Convention. The event featured a health fair, job fair, food giveaway, including free Terrell’s Bar-B-Que and access to community resources and information.

COVID-19 vaccinations, flu shots and health screenings were also available at the event, and employers on site and ready to hire included Meridian Behavioral Healthcare, Passage Ministries Inc., Tacachale, Florida Department of Children and Families, Partnership for Strong Families and others. Tacachale, a state institution for the intellectually disabled, is looking to hire more than 300 people in various positions.

Some employers encouraged job seekers to not let past issues keep them from applying for a job, and to be honest about their situation.

The Rev. Karl Anderson, senior pastor of Upper Room Ministries, said the event’s main sponsors were Humana and Island Doctors.

Trevor Atkins, an East Gainesville resident, said he was pleased with the event. He said he received masks, food and lunch and praised Anderson for looking out for the community..

“I thank God for the pastor doing this,” Atkins said.

Natalya Richardson, also an East Gainesville, said Anderson gives to the community and helps a lot of people all the time.

“He is an awesome man of God,” Richardson said.

Brittany Bryant, a UF student and volunteer for Gainesville Thrives, an organization that along with Dolly Parton’s Imaginary Library promotes the love of reading, manned a table at the event. She said Parton’s program works to provide children up to age 4 with age-appropriate free books mailed to them each month. In Gainesville, Bryant said the program is focusing on the 32609 zip code in East Gainesville and the SWAG community in southwest Gaineville.

UF HealthStreet Community Health Workers along with the Clinical Research Vehicle (CRV) were on site to bridge the gap between health disparities and resources.

Diane M. Biernacki, a clinical research nurse at UF, provided healthcare services, including screenings, health assessments and more while community health workers also onsite provided health and social assessments, useful information and takeaways such as the NARCAN Nasal Spray that reverses Opioid overdose.

Jay Barot, who came to the event with his wife Veena Barot, participated in the health screening, and gave the event high marks. Barot said the experience was much better than he could have hoped. Biernacki checked Barot’s blood pressure, cholesterol, blood glucose and also measured his height and weight. She said his results were excellent.

“I’m happy I came,” Barot said. “This is good. I feel I’m getting information I can use.”

Convention services will be held at 7 p.m. through Friday at Upper Room Ministries, 3575 NE 15th St. The featured speakers will be:

• Tuesday: Stellar award-winning Evangelist Beverly Craword

• Wednesday: Evangelist Dorinda Clark-Cole

• Thursday: The Rev. Karl Anderson of Upper Room Ministries

• Friday: Bishop Edward Robinson Sr., prelate of the COGIC Florida Central Second Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction

See the original June 15, 2021 story here:

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