A healthy way to spend a day

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The Raise Foundation, dedicated to raising awareness to stop the cycle of abuse through education and comprehensive services for families and children, held a free community Health Fair Saturday at the Chua Dieu Ngu Vietnamese Buddhist Temple in Westminster, which has many Garden Grove congregants.

The Raise Foundation, dedicated to raising awareness to stop the cycle of abuse through education and comprehensive services for families and children, held a free community Health Fair Saturday at the Chua Dieu Ngu Vietnamese Buddhist Temple in Westminster, which has many Garden Grove congregants.

"A big part of what we do is child abuse prevention," said Raise Foundation Executive Director Eldon Baber. "The goal of the Raise Foundation is to provide resources to strengthen families, making each family’s home a safer place for children to grow up."

Baber said back in 1974, the California State Legislature mandated that each county should have a child abuse prevention program and thus the Orange County Board of Supervisors on April 9, 1974 set April as the month of Child Abuse Awareness.

April is also national Child abuse Awareness month.

According to Baber, the Raise Foundation holds different events throughout the year to help educate the public and make them aware of child abuse, neglect and mal-treatment.

"We host professional workshops where professionals help families to be educated and be aware," Baber said. "We provide resources and support to strengthen families."

Baber said that if a family is strong and healthy, there won't be as much neglect or abuse and said Saturday's event, which included partners participating, was an effort to organize a variety of services that families could access in their neighborhoods, all under one roof.

There were doctors and nurses from Kaiser Permanente and nurses from Vanguard University to do basic health screening such as blood pressure.

"This is amazing and I want to thank the Raise Foundation and the temple for sponsoring and coordinating the non-profit health services — I'm so happy for this event," said Westminster Mayor Tri Ta.

Free food was distributed to families throughout the three-hour program, such as fresh fruit and produce.

There were volunteers to help those in attendance to sign up for Covered California, which is part of the Southern California services for the county. Those wishing to ask questions and/or sign up could even get help from volunteer translators in several languages.

"I'm thrilled that the residents can be happy, healthy and be served by great agency services," said Westminster City Councilman Sergio Contreras. "I love serving my community as a council member in ways I never imagined I'd have the opportunity.”

Baber said, "We couldn't have better supporters than Tri Ta and Sergio Contreras, as they care about helping the people of the community and they are so supportive."

Saturday's event was the first time the Raise Foundation had orchestrated the family health fair in conjunction with the other services.

"We hope to come back and do this on a regular basis," Baber said, "but it depends on our partners, so we will do it as often as possible."

Children were able to spin a large colorful wheel to win prizes such as Match Box cars, rings and pencils, while their parents received Medical and CalFresh information, according to volunteer Anne Broussard, with the Social Services Agency Administration.

"We're here to take applications for Medical, food stamps and Covered California," said Broussard. "Our goal is to outreach in the community and provide these services if families need help and we help them with other county services such as CalWORKS and Adult Protective Services (part of the California Department of Social Services) and we have in-home support for disabled adults and seniors."

Other free services included testing for high blood pressure, speech, hearing, heart and bones, glucose and cholesterol, along with obesity and depression.

There were also dental examinations, Kaiser Kids application assistance, community resources and parenting and wellness information.

The next the Raise Foundation event is the annual Blue Ribbon Campaign on April 9.

For information on the upcoming event, call 949-757-3635, ext. 128.