Hours after community members gave back to New Orleans during the Day of Service, their city gave back to them during the first ever Community Heath & Resource Fair.
Dozens of vendors gathered in a Walmart parking lot to provide free health screenings and wellness resources to hundreds of locals, who turned up and turned out.
Organizations such as the Red Cross and Evacuateer were handing out information to ensure that people had an emergency plan in the event of a hurricane. Youth shelter Drop-In Center were providing free HIV tests, a local blood center was collecting donations, Crescent City WIC was promoting breast feeding and local organization JOB1 was offering resources on finding employment.
Between booth-hopping, attendees were treated to live performances by local dance studio Studio G, who was promoting the new Minions movie. New Orleans native Cupid performed the Cupid Shuffle, getting the crowd on their feet, and local pint-sized A-lister Quvenzhané Wallis treated fans to a photo booth.
Community member Rebecca Weathersby, who was recently let go from her job, was particularly interested in the health care booths.
“I’m going to need health care,” she said. “I got a lot of information on that. [Events like this] give the Black community a lot of reliable information to help people in the community know what’s going on. A lot of times, you don’t even know what’s going on in the community.”
Local New Orleans resident and NAACP community outreach representative Shirley Simons came to the fair with her 85-year-old mother to gather information that she could distribute at an upcoming NAACP meeting.
“In the Black community, we don’t usually get out of our surrounding areas as much,” Simons said. “We tend to be localized, and for something like this to come out here to the community, it brings awareness, and that’s what we need: more awareness. Awareness brings progress and opportunity.”