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‘Day of service, remembrance’ set for Saturday

Flags and a sign mark the anniversary of 9-11 at the highly-visible property of Bill and Kate Svagdis on SR 228 S. in Macclenny.Four days after the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the Northeast Florida Community Action Agency and community partners will honor first responders with a special day of activities focused on disaster preparedness and health.

The event on September 15 is one of eight that NFCAA is hosting this month to honor the anniversary through community service. While the event is intended to assist NFCAA’s customer base, low-income families, it’s also free and open to the public.

It all starts at 9 am at Macclenny Memorial Park on West Boulevard N. by the duck pond with tours of the sheriff’s office mobile communications center, fire safety demonstrations, and free glucose and blood pressure screenings.

Information about preparing for disasters and the health department’s stop smoking, first aid and parenting classes will also be available.

Participating organizations include the sheriff’s office, firefighters and emergency medical services, Fraser Hospital, American Red Cross, Macclenny Nursing and Rehab and the Sanderson Senior Center.

The event is scheduled to conclude at 1 pm.

“Research shows low-income persons often encounter barriers to accessing primary health care services. Routine screenings and tests prevent future emergency care visits — a costly burden to the healthcare system,” reads a press release from the agency. “Low-income families are also significantly less likely to prepare and evacuate during a natural disaster. With hurricane season underway, it is important that all residents prepare for any upcoming storms.”

For more information about the event, billed as a “Day of Service and Remembrance,” please call Judy Marek at (904) 588-4072.

NFCAA’s mission is to collaborate with community partners to empower families in Northeast Florida to achieve self-sufficiency through education, employment and advocacy.

NFCAA serves seven counties in Northeast Florida: Baker, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Nassau, Putnam and St. Johns Counties.

Last year, NFCAA helped more than 2,500 Baker County residents improve their lives through its services and programs, the agency’s press release said.

Veterans ‘Stand Down’ scheduled for October 27

Tony Esterling, the county’s veteran’s affairs officer, announced this week a “Stand Down” program will take place October 27 from 10 am to 2 pm at the Ag Center, 1025 W. Macclenny Ave. (US 90).

He said the event, which he hopes to make an annual affair, will gather various community resources available to help homeless and other veterans in need of assistance. A ceremonial tribute to veterans will take place between 11 am and noon.

According to the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs website, Stand Downs are part of the department’s efforts to get services to homeless veterans.

“Stand Downs are typically one to three day events providing services to homeless veterans such as food, shelter, clothing, health screenings, VA and Social Security benefits counseling, and referrals to a variety of other necessary services, such as housing, employment and substance abuse treatment,” the site states. “Stand Downs are collaborative events, coordinated between local VAs, other government agencies and community agencies who serve the homeless.”

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