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Area Organizations Bring Vital Resources to the Community


People rally with hands together

On February 26, the Will County Health Department [WCHD] working with a number of local organizations brought important resources and services to Will County residents in need.

Located at St. Peter Lutheran Church in Joliet, this Vaccination Clinic and Health and Wellness Fair was a successful, fun-filled family event.

Among the many free resources made available to those present were the following: COVID-19 vaccinations, health testing and screenings, gift cards, employment services, mental health and substance use resources, hygiene products and hot meals and food boxes.

The generosity of several community-based organizations and direct service providers along with the coordinating efforts of WCHD’s Suzanna Ibarra made this event possible.

While the Salvation Army of Joliet provided hot meals and snacks to attendees and volunteers, The Northern Illinois Food Bank handed out 6,747 pounds of food.

BluePrint Agency gave away a wide range of necessities from shampoo to pens to deodorant to mugs and much more. BluePrint Agency “works with women that have experienced trauma within Will County that are low income to provide the necessary tools to enable women to overcome obstacles.”

Substance Use Initiative of Will County provided training on how to see the signs of an overdose. They also distributed free Naloxone [Narcan], a nasal spray used for the treatment of a known or suspected opioid overdose.

Warehouse Workers for Justice provided 100 PPE kits. Program Director Ilissa Valerio stated: “We at Warehouse Workers for Justice were happy to partner with the Will County Health Department and local organizations across Joliet to provide resources and PPE to the community.”

Victoria Klimkiewicz of the University of Illinois Extension SNAP-Ed provided the interactive “Eat. Move. Save” booth which showed the importance of physical activity and how to fit it into daily life.

A number of community organizations offered free medical services at this event. Will-Grundy Medical clinic offered their services to uninsured residents.
Holsten Human Capital Development (HHCD)/Riverwalk Homes along with WCHD and a host of other community-based organizations provided hot meals, groceries, covid vaccinations, health screenings (blood pressure/ blood sugar checks) and extensive resource referrals.

HHCD’s mission is to “strengthen at-risk populations by expanding their access to viable resources that promote self-sufficiency, wellness, and stability through comprehensive service provision, developing low-income and affordable housing, and fostering economic development.”

HHCD Program Manager, Elizabeth Protich, said, “We are both humbled and proud of the opportunity to serve our community.”

Lewis University nursing students, working with HHCD, performed health screenings and tests for over 70 residents.

National Alliance on Mental Illness [NAMI] Will-Grundy distributed brochures about support groups and education for individuals and families affected by mental illness.

The Spanish Community Center assisted with vaccination registration, food distribution and outreach regarding COVID-19 and the center’s many services and resources.

Joliet Township Government provided free tax services to eligible residents, along with information regarding senior groups and the Medical Loan Closet, a township resource for borrowing certain medical aid items.

Joliet Township Government also discussed its free notary services and other general assistance programs and social services that are available to those residents in need.

WCHD along with the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency provided COVID-19 vaccinations and education.

Nicole Garrett, MAPP [Mobilizing for Action through Planning & Partnerships] Collaborative Coordinator, discussed local healthy food initiatives, distributed gift cards and helped residents complete this year’s MAPP Community Survey.

The second dose clinic and event will take place Saturday, March 26, 2022, from 10am-3pm at the St. Peter Lutheran Church gym located at 310 N. Broadway Street, Joliet, Illinois 60435.

For more information on any of the organizations that made this Vaccination Clinic and Health and Wellness Fair possible—

BluePrint Agency
Human Capital Development (HHCD)/Riverwalk Homes
Joliet Township Government
Lewis University nursing
MAPP Collaborative
Medical Loan Closet
NAMI Will-Grundy
The Northern Illinois Food Bank
St. Peter Lutheran Church
The Salvation Army of Joliet
The Spanish Community Center
Substance Use Initiative of Will County
University of Illinois Extension SNAP-Ed
Warehouse Workers for Justice
Will County Health Department
Will-Grundy Medical clinic