Polson UMC in Montana hosts second Back-to-School Wellness Fair with new partners

August 30, 2019
A Day of Hope - Dental Screening
Dental screenings were offered for all children.
Story and photo submitted by Janet Mulroy
Mission Engagement and Resource Strategist
Mountain Sky Conference

In 2018, the Bridge of Love Offering held at the joint annual conference in Ogden, Utah helped fund Polson UMC's first Back-to-School Wellness Fair last August. Building on its success, Polson UMC reached out to the Rotary Club, Lions Club, Glacier Bank and the Helping Hands Foundation to expand its second event in 2019. In the process, the church joined forces with another similar event that was being hosted by NewLife Church, an Assembly of God congregation. 
Together the two churches – along with many local businesses, nonprofit agencies and service organizations – doubled the number of school supplies, bicycle giveaways and generated community support for this faith-based event, attracting an estimated 800 families and children and about 40 local partners. The fair, called “A Day of Hope” provided vision and dental screenings, free haircuts, backpacks and school supplies, bicycle safety, bicycle and helmet giveaways, along with physical and mental health services, and safety booths. 
What is your story?
This is just one story of how a local church can work with other partners to meet community needs. Polson, a community in Lake County, Montana has one of the highest suicide rates in the country. The purpose of the event was to show support and encouragement to children and their families and services available to them. Please send your story about how your local church is engaging in the community to address local needs. Contact me with your story: jmulroy@mtnskyumc.org.