by Elizabeth Turnbull
On Sept. 11, families and community members young and old are invited to the Angel of Hope Engagement Center on 75th Avenue South where they can pick up free back-to-school supplies, play games, eat food, get COVID-19 vaccinations and flu shots, and even join in a dance with former Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin.
The event, which will take place from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., promises to be a joyful and loud community moment, and Tony Benton of Rainier Avenue Radio will be there to capture it all on livestream.
As part of the event, participants will be able to access backpacks and school supplies, gently used kitchen items and clothes, books for children from the first through the sixth grade, and swag bags. Attendees will also be offered individually wrapped hamburgers and hot dogs along with other snacks to eat during the block party.
Health care help will also be available. COVID-19 vaccinations will be provided for individuals ages 12 and above, and visitors will be able to get their flu shot as well as booster vaccinations. Free personal protective equipment such as wipes and face masks will be provided and participants can also get help with health and dental care enrollment.
The event offers something for almost everyone, including those in need of a haircut. One barber from Personal Touch Barbershop will offer haircuts to school-aged children on a first-come-first-served basis from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
The block party is one of many efforts made by the group Women United to provide for the local community. Originally founded after Executive Director Alesia Cannady’s own caregiving journey, Women United works to provide care to kinship caregivers who do not often get the same care they give.
People who want to attend must register by Sept. 8 at 8 p.m. Various activities for children include a sack race, a two-legged race, giant Jenga, giant Connect Four, giant checkers, arts & crafts, giant tic-tac-toe, and more.
Central to the event is the Love Train dance, which Seahawk wide receiver Doug Baldwin will lead. Participants will dance to The Ojays’ “Love Train” up and down 75th Avenue South.
The “train” is all-inclusive with no ticket to ride — Cannady just hopes as many people who can will come.
Elizabeth Turnbull is a journalist with reporting experience in the U.S. and the Middle East. She has a passion for covering human-centric issues and doing so consistently.
📸 Featured Image: Alesia Cannady, executive director of Women United, at her Skyway home. (Photo: Alex Garland)
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