Touch-A-Truck Event to Unite Community in Jamestown, NY

Submitted by Justin Gould on Wed, 05/08/2024 - 09:40

(In the foreground, seated in the first row, are Reverend Norma Coleman from Zion Blackwell Chapel, Pastor Marion Battle from North Main Church of God, and Karen Neal from AME Zion. Behind them in the second row stand James Bess from Emmanuel Baptist Church, Sheriff James Quattrone, Deputy Phil Lombardo, and Bishop Uvie Steward from Emmanuel Temple. Completing the group in the back row are Jamestown Police Chief Tim Jackson, Deputy Forster, and Joyce Bess from Blackwell Baby Cafe.)

JAMESTOWN, NY – Jamestown’s Blackwell Chapel Baby Cafe, in partnership with the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office, is proud to announce a collaborative event, "Touch-A-Truck," as part of the Faith and Blue campaign. The event will take place on Saturday at Jackson Taylor Park in Jamestown from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The collaboration between Baby Cafe and the Sheriff’s Department for the Faith and Blue campaign originated in August 2023 when the Baby Cafe was invited by Sheriff James Quattrone to Mayville for his county-wide discussion on the national Faith and Blue campaign.

"Touch-A-Truck" promises a fun-filled day for the whole family, featuring a myriad of activities including a bounce house, Dunk-a-Cop, petting zoo, face painting, McGruff appearances, and live music from various performers. Additionally, a diverse range of food vendors will be present. The event will also provide a platform for health care and community agencies to engage with attendees, with tables showcasing agency pamphlets and information.

Organizers envision the Faith and Blue campaign event as an annual occurrence, aiming to foster greater community involvement. Such events are crucial in shaping the future for our children, who are the stewards of tomorrow.

Catherine Harrison, a driving force behind the campaign in Jamestown, along with a group of African-American pastors and the Baby Cafe team, has been instrumental in its organization. The Baby Cafe focuses on providing support to BIPOC and marginalized communities, aiming to improve health outcomes by empowering families and offering professional and compassionate breastfeeding support.

Harrison emphasized the importance of Faith and Blue events, stating, “Faith and Blue was launched to facilitate safer, stronger, more just, and unified communities by directly enabling local partnerships among law enforcement professionals, residents, businesses, and community groups through the connections of our local faith-based organizations.”

Sheriff James Quattrone echoed this sentiment, highlighting how such events bring together different organizations to collectively enhance the community. “Faith and Blue events are built on mutual respect, trust, and understanding,” Quattrone said. “When law enforcement entities and faith-based groups collaborate, the neighborhood thrives.”

The Touch-A-Truck event aims to recalibrate police-community relations through solution-focused activities, both in person and virtually. These activities will be jointly organized by faith-based communities, organization agencies, and law enforcement agencies.

Over the past 18 months, the Health Department of Central and Western New York and the Oishei Foundation have provided crucial support through a $40,000 grant to a consulting firm. This funding aims to ensure the long-term sustainability of the Baby Cafe and to foster key partnerships for future endeavors. Harrison highlighted how the Baby Cafe can leverage this support to effectively engage with the Faith and Blue movement.

The Baby Cafe continues to seek volunteers for both their offices and Saturday’s event in May. For more information, please contact 716-295-3149.


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