I am the Supervisor of a wonderful program, Vinton Co. Help Me Grow. We are just one of the many services offered at the Vinton County Health Department. Recently we were blessed with a very generous donation from the McArthur Police Department, McArthur Fire Department and Mayor Kim Wortman.

The police and fire departments had a boot drop at the red light in the Village. Donations were accepted from people from Vinton County and other areas that were passing through our town. All the donations were for toys for tots which benefited the families of Help Me Grow and WIC. They were able to raise an amazing $2,379.34.

We were also blessed with other donations from Davis Veterinary Services of McArthur, Board of Health member Vicky Boring, members of the congregation of Ebenezer Church and other anonymous donors. Danny Prater donated his time by being a “jolly elf” to the children.

With these generous donations we were able to make Christmas a little brighter for 81 families and 140 children (See related story). We celebrated Christmas at the community building with some of the families, members of the Help Me Grow staff, officers of the police and fire departments, members from the health department/WIC and members of the media.

Santa Claus made a grand entrance on the fire truck with a police escort. He was greeted by excited children who knew he would be bringing them special gifts. A meal was prepared by WIC.

Help Me Grow is a voluntary family support program for pregnant women or new parents. Offered in every county of the state through a well-established network, Help Me Grow is an evidence-based program that promotes healthy growth and development for babies and young children. Our home visitors are well-trained professionals who use a non-judgmental and compassionate approach that empowers parents with skills, tools and confidence to nurture the healthy growth of their children.

Help Me Grow believes all young children deserve the same opportunities to realize their full potential in life, regardless of economic, geographic and demographic considerations. The parenting education and child development resources provided to families allows them to maximize this critical period of development in their child’s life, providing a foundation for lasting success.

We wish to express our gratitude for the generosity of those who donated and to the families that we serve. We are truly blessed and are so proud of our wonderful town and its people.

Barbi Hammond

Supervisor, Vinton County Help Me Grow

Staff: Carrie McManis, Joni Dickinson, Shontae Thacker, Andrea Barrows & Jessica Reid

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