Nearly 9,000 People turn to HERO for help with food, rent and utilities during the Coronavirus Pandemic

By | Local NewsWIRE | No Comments

The top five searches were for food assistance, rent & utility assistance, coronavirus help, housing and childcare.

(SAVANNAH, GA) In a year of hurt, people across the Savannah area have needed help like never before. Many of them have never had to ask for assistance and don’t know where to begin. But nearly 9,000 found the help they needed with HeroHelpMe.com.

Officially called the Health Effective Resource Organizations, or HERO, database, the online health and social services network offers Savannah-Chatham County residents a one-stop powerhouse of resources, agencies and programs across 57 categories with the aim of closing the referral loop and empowering those living in low-income neighborhoods to be their own health heroes with access to a one-stop, all-inclusive resource.

“During a year where unemployment climbed, income was squeezed and housing was untenable for some, the HERO database helped thousands find services that they need,” said Ella Williamson, Director St. Joseph’s/ Candler African-American Health Information and Resource Center, who led the development of the site. “Because good health is not the absence of disease, it’s having a good job, a safe place to live and access to quality services and the HERO website delivers that for the most vulnerable in our community.”

“It’s a tremendous jewel in our community,” said Lillian Grant-Baptiste, chair of Healthy Savannah’s Health and Faith Coalition. “It is a place where folks can access information. We know knowledge is power but, more importantly, applied knowledge is power. This helps folks learn and have knowledge about the various resources and programs that perhaps they may have never known about. It’s a tremendous jewel, a tremendous tool to effect change in our community.”

Herohelpme.com was launched in January 2020 by the St. Joseph’s/Candler African-American Health Information & Resource Center. It is partially funded by the YMCA of Coastal Georgia and Healthy Savannah through grant funding awarded by the Centers for Disease Control’s Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) program, whose purpose is to eliminate disparities in health outcomes based on race and income in Savannah and Chatham County.

At the time it had just 600 resources, but that number had grown to more than 1,500 by November.

“It is now more critical than ever that residents know how to locate needed resources, since data is showing that COVID-19 is having a deadlier impact on African-Americans due to disparities in their health. The latest data concerning the novel coronavirus is shedding a spotlight on issues that the center has been fighting to improve for more than twenty years.” Williamson said. “The HERO database was created with you in mind.”

Between January and November, the site had 8,618 visits with 6,384 searches. The top five searches were for food assistance, rent and utility assistance, coronavirus help, housing and childcare.

Herohelpme.com can be accessed at any time and allows users to search both by agency name and by service provided so residents can easily find resources for childcare, substance abuse, food access and clinics, to name a few. In addition to detailed service provider listings, the HERO Database focuses on health literacy by using complementary imagery to illustrate the content and aid in the site’s navigation.

“We are each other’s hero,” said Grant-Baptiste. “HERO helps us access the various programs and services so folks can lift themselves up. Sometimes all people need is a hand, just a lift up, and who knows, someone may need to lift us up at some point, so we need that.”

For more information about the HERO Database, please contact Ella Williamson at 912-447-6605 or visit www.herohelpme.com. The St. Joseph’s/Candler African-American Information & Resource Center is located at 1910 Abercorn St., Savannah, GA, 31401.

ABOUT THE YMCA OF COASTAL GEORGIA/HEALTHY SAVANNAH GRANT FOR RACIAL AND ETHNIC APPROACHES TO COMMUNITY HEALTH: In September 2018, Healthy Savannah and the YMCA of Coastal Georgia were awarded a five-year, $3.4 million grant called Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health. This funding, awarded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has been deployed by the Savannah/Chatham County project team to reduce health inequities experienced by Black residents in low-wealth neighborhoods. The local project is called Healthy Opportunities Powering Equity, or HOPE. Its aim is to increase the availability of high-quality nutrition, increase physical activity by creating greater access to safe places to walk, run, bike and play, and foster stronger connections between people and the healthcare providers who serve them. Working with more than 200 community partners and organizations, the team’s work elevates the health and wellness of our community through policy, systems and environmental change.
healthysavannah.org ymcaofcoastalga.org

MEDIA CONTACT
Marjorie Young
Carriage Trade Public Relations® Inc.
912.844.9990
www.carriagetradepr.com

COMMUNITY HEADLINES – DECEMBER 14, 2020

By | Local NewsWIRE
HEALTHY WALK
(SAVANNAH, GA) On Tuesday, December 15, join the Healthy Savannah team for a #HealthyWalk at Savannah Ogeechee Canal Museum and Nature Center, 681 Fort Argyle Rd, Savannah, GA 31419. Be sure to wear your mask if you plan to walk. Check out last week’s walk at Wormsloe Historic Site. https://fb.watch/2i1PGToHTc/
AdMoER HEALTH TRACKING APP TO LAUNCH IN SAVANNAH
(SAVANNAHNOW.COM) A new mobile app launching next year aims to support and protect the community by tracking COVID and other highly infectious diseases. AdMoER (Advanced Monitoring Emergency Response) will alert users if an individual with pre-existing conditions is in the area to remind them to take additional precautions, as well as notify users if a possibly contagious individual is in the area. AdMoER starts beta testing next month.
OPEN FOR BUSINESS: Health App Brings US Operations to Savannah, GA
CENTER PARC CREDIT UNION DONATES TOYS TO WEST BROAD YMCA
(SAVANNAH, GA) Center Parc Credit Union donated toys to the Heritage West Broad YMCA December 10. The location for the drop-off was moved to Trinity Church on 225 West President Street between 4:30 and 4:45 p.m. Toy donations supported West Broad YMCA’s 40th Annual Miracle on May Street Christmas Festival on December 12 and went to children registered to receive a gift at this event. Toys were distributed via grab-and-go present pick-up due to COVID-19 restrictions.
COLONIAL GROUP ANNOUNCED AS JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT DISCOVERY CENTER LEAD SPONSOR
(SAVANNAHNOW.COM) The Junior Achievement Discovery Center planned for Georgia Southern University’s Armstrong Campus has taken a step forward with the Colonial Group, Inc., investing as the lead sponsor. The $2 million contribution will fund the renovation and launch of the facility known as the JA Colonial Group Discovery Center of Savannah.
ENCOURAGE HEALTH EDUCATIONAL SERIES
(SAVANNAH, GA) The Enmarket Encourage Health Education Series, in partnership with Healthy Savannah, will stream its next broadcast on January 7 with “Activity-Friendly Routes to Everyday Destinations.” Watch the interactive program LIVE at 1:00 p.m. on Healthy Savannah’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/healthysav/). It will also be rebroadcast at a later date on the City of Savannah’s Government Channel and on SavannahNow.com/podcasts.
ENMARKET ENCOURAGE HEALTH LIVE SERIES EXPLORES HEALTHY WALKING ROUTES ON JANUARY 7
CREATIVE COAST TO HOST STRESS MANAGEMENT WEBINAR DECEMBER 17
(SAVANNAH, GA) The Creative Coast will be hosting a Lunchtime Topics Webinar on December 17 at 12 p.m. covering how the brain responds to pleasure and threat and why we are so addicted to our devices, cable news, and seasonal treats from our favorite coffee shops, especially during these stressful times. The focus will be understanding the root of these behaviors in order to start adopting healthier habits. This webinar will be presented by health and fitness expert and award-winning columnist Dr. Davana Pilczuk. https://thecreativecoast.org/event/how-smart-phones-cable-news-and-peppermint-lattes-have-kidnapped-our-brains
CHIPOTLE FUNDRAISER FOR PARK PLACE OUTREACH
(SAVANNAH, GA). Chipotle on E. Victory Drive is hosting a fundraiser to support Park Place Outreach. Between the hours of 4 and 8 p.m. on December 16, 33 percent of all proceeds from Chipotle orders will be donated to Park Place Outreach, a nonprofit agency that serves at-risk youth. Customers may tell the cashier they’re supporting the cause or order online using promo code 6Z3BLN3 upon checkout to ensure funds are donated.
PHOTOVOICE AUTHOR DR. NANDI A. MARSHALL APPOINTED TO PUBLIC HEALTH EXECUTIVE BOARD
Dr. Nandi A. Marshall has been elected to sit on the American Public Health Association’s Executive Leadership Board. With a membership of 25,000 public health professionals, the organization is committed to building a healthier nation in one generation. A public health professor at Georgia Southern University, Dr. Marshall recently facilitated a Photovoice project to identify social, cultural, and physical barriers that discourage breastfeeding by African American mothers in Chatham County and the opportunities to remove those obstacles. The findings were published in a photo book, “Savannah H.O.P.E. Photovoice Project,” documenting personal experiences from local African-American mothers. The project was also recognized by the National Association of County and City Health Officials, which represents the nation’s nearly 3,000 local governmental health departments.
SAVANNAH AREA BUSINESS BREAKFAST DECEMBER 17
(SAVANNAH, GA) The Savannah Area Business Breakfast brings the business community together to honor two new recipients of Savannah’s highest recognition for its business and community leaders, the Oglethorpe Award. Updates will also be provided by several Savannah area business organizations. The event is open to the public as space allows, and all are welcome to join in recognizing the best of the Savannah community. https://bit.ly/3oEmwhH
LEADERSHIP SAVANNAH ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS
(SAVANNAH, GA) Applications for the 2021 Leadership Savannah Class are currently being accepted. This will be a one-year class and is limited to 42 people. The Selections Committee is seeking representation from a cross-section of the community. The programs are being finalized but are expected to consist of monthly interactive sessions lead by top community experts within their fields. Need-based scholarships are available, and the application deadline has been extended to January 4. https://bit.ly/3m1094o
DEC 14 SAVANNAH COMMUNITY HEADLINES LIVE AT 9 A.M.
(#WATERCOOLER) Top 10 Things Nonprofits Need to Know. Join Nipuna Ambanpola, CEO and Cofounder of IVolunteer International, Michael Siegel, Chair of SCORE Savannah and Diana Morrison of Ad Specialty to hear their insights on what non-profits need to know. The interactive conversation will stream at 9:00 a.m., Monday, Dec 14, 2020, on Savannah Community Headlines LIVE, the #WATERCOOLER social media show on Carriage Trade Public Relations Facebook page. Join the conversation with this link.
SCORE SC LOWCOUNTRY CHAPTER RECEIVES NATIONAL RECOGNITION
(HILTON HEAD, SC) SCORE SC Lowcountry Chapter #0650 has achieved the Platinum level performance rating for the fourth consecutive year— the highest level for a SCORE Chapter and a rare achievement among the 240 chapters nationwide. SC Lowcountry Chapter was also recognized as the 2019 Chapter of the Year (Small Markets). It was acknowledged as the number one performing chapter in the country, as well as the number one chapter for client engagement/feedback ratings. https://sclowcountry.score.org/
PODCAST
(#WATERCOOLER) Special Guest, Tim Echols – Georgia Public Service Commission. In this podcast, we learn about the different green energy projects happening in Georgia. Energy policy will be a major topic of conversation in 2021. Tune in to hear about what might change in 2021, who will benefit, and how issues like solar energy roll-outs, broadband expansion proceedings, and clean technologies will impact Savannah this coming year and beyond.
SEASONAL INFLUENZA VACCINATIONS – IT’S NOT TOO LATE
(SAVANNAH, GA) Flu season doesn’t wind down until the spring, so it’s not too late to get vaccinated. Those who get the vaccine reduce the risk of getting the flu and help save medical resources needed for COVID-19 patients. Now is a great time to roll up your sleeve. Most insurance will cover the cost of the flu shot, and some clinics offer it for free. Check out upcoming clinics in the Savannah area at https://www.gachd.org/ or find the nearest clinic here: https://vaccinefinder.org/find-vaccine
12 USEFUL GMAIL SETTINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW YOU NEEDED
(FAST COMPANY) Feature-rich apps like Gmail have tons of options and you might not be aware of quite a few. Here’s a breakdown of some of Gmail’s most helpful, yet least visible settings. Consider it your Gmail treasure map!
SAVE THE CRYSTAL BEER PARLOR
(SAVANNAH, GA) The Crystal Beer Parlor, established in 1933, is part of Savannah’s rich and colorful history. Like many other restaurants, the pandemic has hit the Crystal hard. To help keep the lights on, the owners have established a Go-Fund-Me page with a fundraising goal of $150,000.
MINK NEEDS A HOME
(COASTALPETRESCUE.ORG) Neat, petite and oh so sweet, Mink is a beautiful girl waiting to find her forever home. Having raised her two kittens when she was barely more than a kitten herself, she’s now ready to enjoy life and would make a purr-fect companion.
HOW TO CREATE AN ENGAGED FACEBOOK GROUP: 5 STEPS
(SOCIAL MEDIA EXAMINER) Facebook marketing expert Dana Malstaff shares five steps to create a Facebook group members will return to and engage with. Get practical tips to structure your group and discover three types of posts to ban from your group. You’ll also get examples of posts you should be using, and learn how to balance conversational posts with educational posts.
How to Create an Engaged Facebook Group: 5 Steps
SIGN UP TO GET SAVANNAH COMMUNITY HEADLINES™ FREE
(SAVANNAH, GA) To receive SAVANNAH COMMUNITY HEADLINES™ each Monday morning, please sign up here for free:

Free Vaccines Offer Savannahians a Way to Fight the Flu We Know

By | Local NewsWIRE

(SAVANNAH, GA) Flu season is in full swing. But this one is like no other. As we await a COVID-19 vaccine, there’s another that’s readily available in Savannah, thanks to a CDC flu prevention grant. On Sunday, December 13, the Chatham County Health Department will offer free seasonal flu shots to the public in downtown Savannah. While the coronavirus has yet to be conquered, it’s time to fight the flu we know.

“Getting the flu vaccine is especially important this year since COVID-19 and the seasonal flu will circulate through the population at the same time,” said Nichele Hoskins, Flu Education Campaign manager. “This compounds the risk among African Americans and other ethnic and racial groups disproportionately affected by COVID-19.”

The walk-up clinic will be managed by the Chatham County Health Department and is made possible by Healthy Savannah, in partnership with the YMCA of Coastal Georgia, through a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention called REACH. That’s Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health. The overall objective of the local grant is to reduce health inequities experienced by Black residents in Savannah’s and Chatham County’s low-wealth neighborhoods.

The event is also supported by Center Parc Credit Union and Enmarket.

The event sponsors will hand out prizes to participants and free flu shots will be distributed to anyone six months and older from 10:30 am. to 12:30 p.m. at 510 West Gwinnett St., across from Conner’s Temple Baptist Church. Everyone is asked to wear a face covering and practice social distancing.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tapped recipients of the Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health Grant to reduce the risk of African Americans contracting the seasonal flu. Flu season begins in October and will run into the spring. The CDC awarded the YMCA of Coastal Georgia and Healthy Savannah $171,336 to increase that awareness, knowledge and vaccination rates among Black residents of Chatham County.

Under the flu prevention grant, Healthy Savannah is engaging trusted community members to address misinformation about the flu vaccine, educate community members about the risks of getting the flu, and foster stronger connections, communication and trust between people who need vaccines and vaccine providers.

For more information or to get involved as a Flu Fighter, contact Nichele Hoskins, Flu Education Campaign manager at nichele@healthysavannah.org or (205) 222-2030.

ABOUT THE YMCA OF COASTAL GEORGIA/HEALTHY SAVANNAH GRANT FOR RACIAL AND ETHNIC APPROACHES TO COMMUNITY HEALTH: In September 2018, Healthy Savannah and the YMCA of Coastal Georgia were awarded a five-year, $3.4 million grant called Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health. This funding, awarded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has been deployed by the Savannah/Chatham County project team to reduce health inequities experienced by Black residents in low-wealth neighborhoods. The local project is called Healthy Opportunities Powering Equity, or HOPE. Its aim is to increase the availability of high-quality nutrition, increase physical activity by creating greater access to safe places to walk, run, bike and play, and foster stronger connections between people and the healthcare providers who serve them. Working with more than 200 community partners and organizations, the team’s work elevates the health and wellness of our community through policy, systems, and environmental change.

https://healthysavannah.org   https://ymcaofcoastalga.org

MEDIA CONTACT
Marjorie Young
Carriage Trade Public Relations® Inc.
912.844.9990
www.carriagetradepr.com
marjorie@carriagetradepr.com