Health fair a success

BY HOLLY KESTENIS, Staff Writer

ST. PETERSBURG –Holy Temple Pentecostal Assemblies of Church, 3101 Freemont Terrace S, in conjunction with The Weekly Challenger sponsored a health fair last Sat., July 18 to inform the community of the services available to them in order to get and stay healthy.

Vendors from a wide array of establishments were on hand passing out informative flyers and giving helpful information, such as Gail Floyd with Holy Temple. A retired nurse, Floyd volunteered her time giving glucose and high blood pressure checks. If anything was out of normal range, they were told to seek medical attention.

Interested individuals were also handed a brochure consisting of a food list to help with meal planning and track how many servings you are actually eating when you fill up your plate.

A representative from the Pinellas County Health Department was there passing out information on various programs offered by the county and 2-1-1, a program set up by the Federal Communications Commission for easy access to community information.

So whether you just need a simple answer or some serious help, 2-1-1 is there to assist with rent and mortgage assistance to avoid foreclosure or eviction, utility assistance and emergency transportation to work or medical appointments. They are also equipped to handle mental health assistance with a suicide and rape crisis hotline.

HIV screening was conducted by GHETTREAL Community Service, Inc. Founder and Director Alma Kicklighter is hoping to make a difference in the lives of others through awareness. Those who chose to be screened must go in person to get their results her wellness clinic, located at 3940 18th Ave. S.

“We can’t give it out on the phone,” said Kicklighter. It used to be no one would show up for their results, but within the last six months those tested are picking up their reports. “It’s getting better.”

The health fair wasn’t just about checking for medical conditions such as HIV and diabetes. It also was about bringing awareness to the community about horrific unhealthy acts. Janette Hunt spoke out on human trafficking and how it is affecting the youth of Tampa Bay. Her mission: to bring awareness to the severity of the problem locally and to educate parents and young persons on how to prevent it.

Domestic minor sex trafficking (DMST) is the commercial sexual exploitation of American children within U.S. borders, and according to Hunt the Bay area is a hotspot. WEDU.org reports as of 2012, approximately 130 arrests were made in the Tampa Bay area dealing with human trafficking with some 200 potential victims. Most youths are recruited on the streets and online. Some even at schools and local malls.

“I like to bring awareness to south county as to what is actually going on in our own communities,” said Hunt. She wants people to know what to look for, to catch the signs and alert others if they suspect someone they’ve come in contact with could be a victim. “Tell a friend this is what’s happening and keep your eye out for it.”

Hunt passed out flyers educating the public on how to protect their children. Communication is key and she suggests bringing up human trafficking to your children not once with a big discussion, but repeated small talks over their lifetime to make them aware of the dangers.

Hunt suggests always knowing where your child is and tracking their cell phone so you always know their whereabouts and to avoid stairwells, elevators, clubs and deserted streets where they can be hijacked without anyone knowing.

“A lot of traffickers now don’t look like the people that we think,” said Hunt who suggests parents know their child’s friends and acquaintances. “They’re other kids, boyfriends, it could even be a 16-year-old girl that’s a friend and she’s recruiting.”

LifeLink® Foundation, Inc. was there educating people and raising awareness of the importance of organ donations. One organ donor can save up to eight lives by donating their heart, liver, kidneys, lungs, pancreas and small intestine.  A single tissue donor can enhance more than 50 lives through their gifts of corneas to help restore sight, bones for reconstructive surgery, tendons and ligaments to help restore mobility, heart valves and skin.

For more information on LifeLink® and what they are all about, go to www.lifelinkfound.org.

End of life services were also offered. Glenn G. Jones, executive trust advisor for Ensure Financial Group, LLC, educated the crowd on their services. They help the elderly restructure their life insurance plans to find out where they can cut costs and find extra money.

“We’re educating the seniors in our community, showing them where they messed up before,” said Jones who told how many seniors buy a life insurance policy worth $1,000 and end up paying $5 or 10 thousand for it over time. “We’ve been misled and not educated about it.”

They also provide burial service information, and help for veterans in setting up their burial plots and end of life situations as well as services for the general public.  Ensure works with Zion Hill Mortuary to provide funeral prearrangement, which locks in the cost of burial at today’s price to help families cut costs.

“Unless you get a Gmail from God saying you’re no longer gonna die, it’s good to lock it in,” said Jones. “Protect it from Medicaid and have a paid up and paid for policy.”

 Ensure Financial Group held a drawing giving away Publix gift cards to those who filled out a survey. For more information on how they can help you, they can be contacted locally at (727) 564-9239 or (727) 563-4938. You can also catch them every morning Saturday from 10 – 10:30 on WRXB 1590AM.

Speaking of WRXB, they were there in full force with the Prize Patrol. The Weekly Challenger’s Jeanie Blue, who was there collecting signatures to get medical marijuana on the next ballot, told listeners to come on down and enjoy the free food, and learn how to get healthy.

To reach Holly Kestenis, email hkestenis@theweeklychallenger.com

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