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FRN updated on programs, outreach

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PLEASANT POINT — The Mason County Family Resource Network (FRN) recently convened another meeting after a holiday break, providing an update on the agency’s work.

Greg Fowler, Coordinator, opened the meeting with an update that the FRN has been approved for additional funding which is expected to arrive in February.

Bree Ramey provided an update on the Mason County Baby Pantry.

Ramey said Unicare donated $1,500 to the organization. The pantry is currently planning the spring baby shower for April, which will be held at Trinity Methodist Church to allow for more spacing. She said they hoped to keep the shower “as normal as possible”.

The pantry is currently working on preparing Easter baskets for all preschool students in the county. This will represent approximately 300 baskets – 160 boys and 140 girls – to be delivered by April 6 and 7.

Ramey said Jassica Legg, Baby Pantry coordinator, welcomes all donations for the baskets.

Ramey said Teen Court saw four cases in December, all related to vaping.

An update on the annual FRN Christmas party was given. Romie Wheeler, co-ordinator of the Prevention Coalition, said there were about 221 people present. Fowler thanked and appreciated the Mason County School Board for donating books and everyone who participated in the day.

Fowler said the Greenbrier Dream Tree was a success and all necessary gifts for the county were provided.

Ramey said 303 families have been sponsored for the Baby Pantry Christmas program. With the Dream Tree, all requests for gifts could be satisfied.

Ramey said a schedule for filling blessing boxes across the county is being worked on. She said school social workers fill boxes on school grounds.

Ramey said a major request from schools was for badly needed hygiene products.

Bridget Mayhems of the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources announced that LEAP power assist has been extended through the end of January.

Jessica Ball, service worker coordinator for the Office of Social Services, said training will be held next month to help recruit adoptive parents.

John Machir, director of homeless services for the Southwestern Community Council, reported that the soup kitchen was extremely busy.

Machir said Dawn Weary works on community outreach and engages with homeless people on the streets. He said it is sometimes difficult to convince people to come and seek refuge. Weary will help connect them with the necessary resources.

Machir said dormitories at homeless shelters are being redone with the installation of vinyl plank flooring, replacement bedding and mattresses and new bed bug heaters for clothes. He said they were working to install security cameras on site.

Machir said the shelter had received personal protective equipment. He said Valley Health and Pleasant Valley Hospital provided home COVID kits. Machir said the isolation is difficult due to the lack of space in the shelter.

Bill Monterosso, West Virginia Workforce, said with the news from Nucor, they hope to use the available virtual platform and help create a pipeline for students and trades and help ensure students get into the careers of their choice. .

The next FRN meeting will be February 15 at 3 p.m.

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Brittany Hively is a writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Follow her on Twitter @brithively; join her at (740) 446-2342 extension 2555.