Saturday will mark the sixth consecutive year St. John Baptist Church hosts its annual Community Block Party. And local resource providers are singing the praises of the outreach effort designed to inform and enlighten the masses.
“It’s an amazing event,” St. John Senior Pastor Anthony Harris said with regard to the celebration, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 2301 NW 14th Ave. “We have about 40 vendors that render a variety of services and it provides them with a tremendous opportunity to connect with the community. We're very appreciative of their support and their willingness to foster this crucial information exchange.”
Community Block Party organizers said the objective is to make a positive impact by providing awareness and information while linking families to local resources available in our city. Church officials said the event helps bolster the family dynamic in a relaxed setting that includes free food, soft drinks, face painting, health screenings, entertainment and games, as well as a variety of non-profit, business and academic entities on site.
“We enjoy participating and look forward to doing so each year,” Tanysha Jackson, a medical assistant at Haven Health, said. “We provide medical care access, reproductive health services and education for women and men throughout the region regardless of their ability to pay. That’s important for folks to know and the Community Block Party affords us a great chance to spread the word.”
Kay Pechin serves as Managing Attorney for the Amarillo Branch Office of Legal Aid of Northwest Texas.
“St John invites a lot of community partners,” she said. “We’re excited about the opportunity and looking forward to meeting people. North Heights is an underserved area and the Community Block Party greatly expands the level of outreach. It’s a great event and we love the interaction. We have self-help materials available and enjoy engaging folks in conversation about what we do and the services we offer. Our goals are to educate, empower and engage. The Community Block Party is a terrific tool that allows resource providers to achieve those goals.”
Harris said the effort is part of the church's overarching mission to serve.
"We recognize there is much to be done, but no one can do the work alone," he said. "Pooling the talent and resources of this community and placing it in a central location enables us to put servant leadership into practice. That's why we're here."