|A student gets free dental care at last year’s Back to School Health and Family Festival in Exposition Park.|
“Kids [often] fail in school when they have a hard time hearing or when they can’t see,” explained Mothers In Action co-founder Brenda Marsh Mitchell.
“They fail when they’re mouth hurts (because they haven’t been to the dentist). Sometimes they’re just sick and don’t know why. Some have diabetes and hypertension and don’t know it…”
But Mitchell and the MIA team have put their resources together to combat those problems for the last thirteen years and are inviting the public again this year to the 14th annual Back to School Health and Family Festival at L.A.’s Exposition Park. The event, which garners large sponsors like Wal Mart and the Los Angeles Police Department annually, services about 10,000 students. From ten a.m. to five p.m. they can get free medical testing, eye exams, dental services and immunizations. The group is giving away backpacks and other school supplies including uniforms and shoes while supplies last. They’re also providing haircuts and personal hygiene supplies to those who need them.
“We are so thankful to Wal Mart who, every year provides not only money and equipment but their time and talent,” Mitchell said.
“We’re also proud to have LAPD with us every year to help and inspire the kids who come to our event.”
But, said an MIA spokesperson, while they work hard to support those in need, budget cuts have made it difficult this year and they are asking for at least $1.00 donations from the public so that they can continue to help.
“We have an obligation to our children, who are our future. Education is free, but the tools to maximize its’ benefits are not,” they said.
The Back to School Health and Family Festival, sponsored in part by the Brotherhood Crusade, Kids Dental Kare, Wal Mart KDAY and KCET, takes place August 30. For more information call 323 846-1645.