Community, Creswell

Community comes together for collaboration meeting

Crystal Perdue, family resource coordinator, stands in front of a physical representation of the top five needs in Creswell that need to be filled — with blue post-its representing the holes in resources during her April 2 community collaboration meeting Aliya Hall/The Creswell Chronicle

Crystal Perdue works under the motto of, ”See a need, fill a need.”
That’s why, on April 2, the family resource coordinator held a community collaboration to speak with pastors, business owners, organizations and residents about the best way to work together to help fill the need of Creswell’s families.
”I don’t want someone to feel alone when facing something,” Perdue said during the meeting. ”Parenting is hard; navigating the school system can be hard, and when you’re dealing with things at home it spills over to other things in your life. Taking a load from one area will have a ripple effect.”
Perdue had four attendees and had received eight emails from the community. Four were words of encouragement for collaboration efforts and four wanted to be added to the list of helping families when needed. Of those four, three were individual families and one was a church.
”It is so meaningful to me to see the community come together to fill each others needs using local resources,” Perdue said in an email. ”When the community members’ needs are met, we build a stronger community as a whole. Connections within the community create a thriving environment for Creswell, not only making the person on the receiving end feel valued, but also helping the person giving feel connected to their neighbors.”
Her goal is to create a streamlined process to connect families with the resources available in the community.
”This will help me allow all that want to help the chance to do so, and help make sure I am not overusing others,” Perdue said.
She noted that it creates a resource booklet and can help others if her position ever closes.
In the past year, Perdue said that the community has helped serve 352 families in the school district. The holiday program gifts and food served 123 families and over 250 children; Food 4 Kids serves 53 families and 107 children; Triple P Parenting (Positive Parenting Program) served 18 families and 29 children; counseling services served 105 families and children; and other services have helped 53 families and 135 students.
Other resources that are available to families include: intergenerational reading collaboration, school volunteers, Lions Club for glasses, comprehensive learning center, Caring for Creswell Kids, clothing closet, Lane County Food Pantry, vaccines for kids, Oregon Health Plan (OHP) signups and Cottage Grove’s community sharing,
”These resources are not being overused,” Perdue said. ”Families are calling when they’re in crisis.”
She added that families also keep her updated when they are no longer in need of services, and often those families want to give back to others in the community.
One of the questions Perdue fielded from the audience was about how the district handles language barriers with Latinx families – the gender-neutral term for Latin Americans. Perdue explained that the district has multiple bilingual staff members who have volunteered their time to translate workbooks, key information and meetings in Spanish.
”I have had the pleasure of connecting families to available resources,” Perdue said, ”and I love to see the outpouring of support from our ‘Friendly City.’”



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