At four Wayne County parks and a school, families can drive through on Wednesday, March 31, to pick up free bags containing kids’ activities and parenting information.
A limited number of free Gleaners family food boxes and a few door prizes will be at each site as well.
The Kids First events, which are planned at Creitz Park in Cambridge City, Maplewood Park in Centerville, Northeastern School in Fountain City, Hagerstown Park and Glen Miller Park in Richmond, are designed to bring awareness and resources to help relieve stress for families and prevent child abuse.
Bags will be given away at each site at 4 p.m. and the event will end at 6 p.m. or sooner if supplies run out.
Six hundred bags are prepared for Glen Miller and other sites each will have 100.
Six hundred food boxes will be offered, with a majority given out at Glen Miller.
In their bag, kids will receive an assortment of coloring books, comic books and crayons. Birth to Five also included a magnifying glass with a scavenger hunt game.
Parents can expect to find information about local resources they can utilize to improve their family’s mental, social, and overall wellbeing, such as pamphlets, flyers and general information about local community mental health centers.
It also will include information on the Parent Café workshops, local assistance programs, children and family programs, foster/adoption programs, etc.
More than 30 door prizes have been donated from local businesses and agencies, offering gift certificates to local places such as Paint The Towne, Wayne County Historical Museum, Pizza King, Big Boyz Pizza, Mancino’s, Giggle Box Sweets and Dana’s Bakery.
Family fun gift baskets will be given away as well. Some are “movie night” themed, “outdoor activities” board games. The focus of the door prizes were things that a family can experience and do together, such as playing a game, enjoying take-out food or blowing bubbles in the backyard. Primex and B&F Plastics gave cash donations that will be used for more family fun items that families can win.
Jenny McCarrell, director of community partners for Children’s Bureau, Inc.’s Region 12 based in Connersville, said the goal of the local Prevent Child Abuse group, which goes by the name of Wayne County Kids First, is to help prevent children from falling victim to abuse/neglect by resourcing parents and raising awareness in the community.
“We want families to know what resources are available should they need support or assistance,” McCarrell said. “We also want to encourage families to spend quality time together and work towards building their protective factors.”

For more information, visit Wayne County Kids First on Facebook or call (765) 962-9043.

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Millicent Martin Emery is a reporter and editor for the Western Wayne News.