|
|
|
The Sun-Times - Heber Springs, AR
  • Coalition improves health through education

  • The Cleburne County Coalition has worked exhaustively to utilize education in an effort to improve the lives of Cleburne residents.
    • email print
  • “The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows” – Sydney J. Harris
     
    Education is the bedrock on which lives move forward and the Cleburne County Coalition has worked exhaustively to utilize education in an effort to improve the lives of Cleburne residents.  Chaired by George Wrightam, the organization has devoted countless hours to educating the public on the dangers of drugs, excessive alcohol, and other “at risk” behaviors that affect the mental and physical well being of our friends and neighbors.
     
    The Cleburne County Coalition is a group of community leaders from different aspects of society, including doctors, clergy, civic leaders, and academic leaders.  The organization started by concentrating on educating the public about the dangers of teenage smoking, drinking, and drug use about five years ago.  Since that time, the organization has expanded its focus to include public service events, including training for local merchants who sell tobacco products or serve alcohol in some of the private establishments in the county.
     
    “What we’re trying to do is expand out and make this a healthier, better, and safer community,” said Wrightam.  “We may concentrate on teenagers, but I would like to see it expand out to a larger area.  We would like to get all the programs in the county to interact with one another to tackle the area’s problems.”
     
    The Coalition is setting a goal to raise money to purchase lockboxes for prescription drugs.  These lockboxes are required for foster parents, but the Coalition would also like to see them available for everyday situations in settings where a member of the household may have a number of prescription drugs for medical reasons, or for households that may be concerned about a potential suicide victim in their home. 
     
    “We deal with different state agencies that help us identify where money is available and how we are best able to access that money,” said Wrightam.  “What we want to do is see what’s available, make it available, and I would also like to look at people’s programs and recommend them.  There’s no use in us reinventing the wheel.”
     
    The Coalition regularly refers people to established area organizations that have successful programs relevant to the needs requested, for example DHS, the Breakin’ Bread soup kitchen, and CAPCA. 
     
    “Our primary goal is education,” said Wrightam  “ Right now we’re running some ads on the radio that were developed a year ago by the youth group at the Assembly of God for parents and the dangers of children getting alcohol from their parents.  We would like to work with any group that has a plan or program.”
    Page 2 of 2 -  
    “One thing we won’t do,” continued Wrightam, “is get into controversial agendas.  As far as the Coalition goes, we’re not going to be pro-abortion or anti-abortion.  We’re going to stay out of those controversial issues because we want to help the community as a whole.  We’re not going to endorse anybody.”
     
    The Coalition anticipates offering more health-oriented education drives in the future; including the health benefits of the developing trail systems in the area.
     
    If you would like more information on the Cleburne County Coalition, contact George Wrightam at 501-206-6909.
      • calendar