A community health fair to raise awareness about resources available to prevent STDs and teen pregnancies is scheduled in Wilmington Saturday.
Wilmington non-profit I Am My Sister’s Keeper is hosting the fair, which will feature representatives from Christiana Care, AIDS Delaware and Beautiful Gate Outreach, and materials from Planned Parenthood and other organizations.
The event starts at noon at Bayard Middle School.
Melody Phillips of I Am My Sister’s Keeper says the event is part of the organization’s work to provide leadership, career development and health education programming for teenage girls.
“There are a lot of times young people—so our target audience is teenagers and up to like 35—they don't always think that HIV or STDs can happen to them, That, oh, I’m exempt because I’m young,” she said. “And that’s not true.”
Wilmington City Council member Yolanda McCoy represents the district where the I Am My Sister’s Keeper does most of its work.
“We need to make certain that people understand about choices," she said. "Where to get contraceptive, and if you’re going to participate in sexual activity, how to do so cautiously."
Phillips says the event is for all ages. It will have food and music, a moonbounce and face-painting for kids, as well as a Department of Labor mobile van where people can learn about workforce development opportunities.
McCoy has participated in the annual I Am My Sister’s Keeper tea party, where teens get to talk with older female role models about their careers.
She says the organization’s focus on young women is filling an unmet need.
“We’ve seen so many issues going on with our young men and violence and things of that nature, that we’ve seen all this programming focused on them,” she said. “And then to me I felt that there was a void.”
McCoy hopes Saturday’s health fair will help city residents of all ages and genders access services to improve their quality of life.
“People have an idea about resources, but there’s always this disconnect on actually going to retrieve them. So we want to make certain that if there are any type of issues or barriers that people are having, that they have the chance to get them addressed,” she said. “Or at least get that information.”
Support for Saturday’s event also came from the Hedgeville Civic Association, Pathways of Delaware, Parkway Academy North, Highmark Health Options and AmeriHealth.