Free screenings Saturday

First Christian Cares has seen its pantry in Seymour grow

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Posted: Wednesday, August 15, 2018 5:00 pm

Located at the corner of Frances and Thoroughfare streets in Seymour is one of the city’s fastest-growing entities.

It’s not a business.

At least not one that sells anything.

However, the diaper and personal-care pantry operated by First Christian Cares, located at Seymour’s First Christian Church, has seen its business more than triple since opening in March.

Open from 10 a.m. to noon on the third Saturday of every month, First Christian Cares served 64 families last month, up from the 18 served only two months prior.

In those 64 families, 207 people were helped, with their needs ranging from adult and baby diapers to bath soap and toothbrushes.

“It’s not the growth we expected,” explained Kelly Owens, one of the local pantry’s organizers. “It’s a good thing, but we thought our growth would come in the form of baby diapers. That’s happened, but we’ve had a lot of growth in the need for adult diapers and all types of personal-care products.”

Baby diapers come to the pantry from the Diaper Bank Of The Ozarks, which is located in Springfield.

But local donations sustain the rest of the facility, everything from deodorant to paper towels.

“We need all kinds of personal-care items,” Owens said.

“Donations of almost any kind are needed.”

A new service is coming to the pantry from 10 a.m. to noon this Saturday morning when dental screenings, courtesy of Jordan Valley Health Care of Springfield, will be offered with no appointment necessary.

People of all ages are eligible for the free screenings.

Next month, the clinic will come to the Seymour church with its mobile unit to offer free dental cleanings and cavity sealant, also from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Sept. 15.

Who is eligible for the products and services offered by First Christian Cares?

“We’ve expanded our service area to Diggins, Fordland and Mansfield, in addition to Seymour,” Owens said. “If you need diapers or personal-care items, you just need to stop by from 10 a.m. to noon on the third Saturday of every month.”

Owens said the pantry’s hours may soon expand.

Last month, First Christian Cares gave away 1,260 baby diapers, 280 adult diapers, 256 rolls of toilet paper, 440 napkins, 168 tampons, 120 toothbrushes, 310 bandages, 61 rolls of paper towels, 45 tubes of toothpaste, 86 sticks of deodorant, 58 bottles of laundry detergent, 54 bars of bath soap, 62 bottles of shampoo ... and the list goes on.

Served were 43 families from Seymour, 16 from Fordland and five from Mansfield.

 “It’s been a very rewarding experience,” Owens concluded.

“People have been so generous at donating.”

Owens said donations always are needed.

To donate, go to the church’s Facebook page. Once at the page, send a message to page, then a response will come quickly.

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