Mom organizes community resource day for Garden Hills

Mom organizes community resource day for Garden Hills

CHAMPAIGN — Sheri Williamson looks around the large neighborhood surrounding her daughter's school and sees families with a lot of needs.

And she's had an idea: How about offering a one-stop shop to help them meet as many of them as possible?

She's organizing the first of what she hopes to be many community resource days for local neighborhoods, starting at Garden Hills Elementary School on April 21.

And because required school physicals for children are on the list of needs, she's going to need some help from medical volunteers — doctors, medical residents, nurses, emergency medical technicians, advance practice nurses and physician assistants.

Some non-medical volunteers are also needed, she said.

Also planned for the resource day: The Champaign-Urbana Public Health District will be on hand to catch kids up on needed immunizations, and there will be some health screenings available for adults, Williamson said.

There will be representatives with information about city services and non-profit agencies, a presentation from the police department on bullying, and identification kits including fingerprinting for children, she said.

People attending will also be asked to fill out a survey about what their needs are.

"We want to make this a one-stop shop for parents," she said. "We're trying to cover all the bases, as much as we can as far as providing information."

Activities will begin at 9 a.m. and run through 3 p.m.

School physicals will be available to children from the Garden Hills area from 9 to 11 a.m., and open to all Champaign school children for the rest of the day, she said.

School principal Cheryl O'Leary said she thinks the day will provide a great opportunity for school parents to find a variety of needed services in one location.

"I'm very thrilled that somebody wanted to initiate this, and we want to support it any way we can," she said.

Williamson lives in the Hessel Park neighborhood of Champaign, but has a daughter attending kindergarten at Garden Hills Elementary School, she says.

The former volunteer/office coordinator for Christian Health Center, she says she's taking on this volunteer task as a concerned parent and citizen of Champaign to help bring the community together. She hopes to form partnerships with schools, Neighborhood Watch groups and churches to help fight crime and meet the needs of families, she said.

"If this model works, I'd like to apply it to different neighborhoods in Champaign," she adds,

To volunteer for the community resource day in Garden Hills, send an email to Williamson at: