Church, organization lend ‘helping hand’

Published 10:06 am Friday, February 13, 2009

One area church is inviting people to show their love in a civic-minded way On Valentines Day.

First Presbyterian Church at Fifth and Railroad streets and Faith in Action of the River Cities will sponsor a free health fair, a free lunch and seminar and a canned food drive. The omnibus offering is called “Healthy Heart, Helping Hand.”

“Valentine’s Day is usually about candy and flowers and buying material goods to prove our love but we thought it would be better to focus on physical and spiritual health,” First Presbyterian Deacon Eve Marcum Atkinson said.

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From 10 a.m.- noon there will be a free health screenings as well as literature provided by Our Lady Of Bellefonte Hospital in Russell, Ky.

From noon-2 p.m. there interested people will find out how they can volunteer for Faith in Action of the River Cities. That organization matches people who need help with small errands and chores with people who have a few hours they can donate. A healthy lunch will be served at the same time.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. there will be a canned food drive to benefit area food pantries.

“I think there is going to be even more need for it now with the economic downturn and layoffs,” Deacon Maria Oakes said.

Atkinson said the day-long event is meant to encourage people to live fuller richer lives by looking after themselves and finding fulfillment by being good neighbors.

“I would like to encourage members of the community to recognize the importance of looking after each other,” Atkinson said. “By offering free health fair we also want to encourage people to live more healthfully. If we are healthy, we are better able to help each other more. With the economy being the way it is we can help with this food drive and of course we can become volunteers. I think that’s what Valentine’s day should really be about.”

This is a lesson not lost on First Presbyterian’s own parishioners.

“I know we have a small membership,” Oakes said. “But we want to do our part.”

A snow-date is set for Saturday, March 14.