Saturday, October 25, 2008

Renee Louzon-Benn

By Renee Louzon-Benn

Casa Grande, AZ – The Oasis Project, a community outreach, health and resource fair, held Saturday, October 18, at Peart Park in Casa Grande experienced a great turnout. The Oasis Project was organized to address issues that are paramount to the low income and homeless of the city. The fair provided blood pressure screening, oral health education, diabetes education, alcohol and drug awareness and counseling, resources for application assistance for enrollment in AHCCCS and KidsCare, and other discounted health and dental services. A "goodwill" table was set up for attendees to select new shoes, and gently used clothing items. Each family received a gift bag filled with hygiene items, and books for the children.

Throughout the event, entertainment was provided, including puppet shows, gospel and Christian rock. Through generous donations from Cottonwood Medical Center, Food City, Target, Walgreens and Wal*Mart, the Oasis Project was able to offer freshly prepared boxed lunches to all attendees and exhibitors.

"We estimate attendance between 125 and 200 individuals, and served over 200 meals," states Pastor Smith, Oasis Project's organizer. "Together we helped direct the homeless and low income individuals in our city to the resources that are essential to good health and independence."

Participating agencies included: Against Abuse, Cenpatico Behavioral Health, Casa Grande Alliance, Casa Grande Fire Department, Exodus Program, Home of Hope – Teen Challenge, More than Conquerors Ministries, Pinal County Health Department – Smoking Cessation Program, St. Michael & All Angels Catholic Church, Success by 6, Sun Life Family Health Center, United Way of Pinal County and University Family Care.

Oasis Project will be organized again for Spring 2009. To learn more about Oasis Project, to volunteer or sponsor, please contact Pastor Wayne Smith, Associate Pastor, More Than Conquerors Ministries, 371-9704.

Photo 002 – Pastor Wayne Smith, Oasis Project Founder with Reyna Villegas, Sun Life Family Health Center

Photo 001 – Misty George, Sun Life's Family Nurse Practitioner, with an attendee who just had their blood pressure screened.