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posted: 1/9/2014 1:20 PM

People in Need Forum at MCC to marshall social services

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Submitted by McHenry County College

McHenry County College, in cooperation with several area organizations, will host the 11th annual People in Need Forum from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25 in the Luecht Conference Center at the college, 8900 Route 14, Crystal Lake.

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It is open to the public and will showcase resources available throughout the county to help anyone in need of social services. The forum is ideal for community volunteers, staff members from human service agencies, civic and government leaders and officials, human resource personnel from area corporations and companies, and faith-based organizations.

The half-day event will begin with continental breakfast and registration, and an opportunity to begin networking and visiting the more than 45 exhibit booths with representatives available to answer questions the entire morning.

The keynote speaker will be Monica Fawzy Bryant, a noted cancer rights attorney, author, and chief operating officer for Triage Cancer, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing education and resources on cancer survivorship issues. Bryant will speak on "Passionate and Purposeful Outreach," an issue relevant to many of the People in Need Forum participants.

"While we are fortunate to live in McHenry County with many social service providers, it is often difficult to know how to refer someone to the right place," said Bev Thomas, chairwoman for the People in Need Forum. "The People in Need Forum is an effort made possible by a large group of dedicated professionals eager to give back to the community, so this is a one-stop resource to learn about many of the services available."

Other highlights of the morning will include educational sessions and presentations to help resolve caregiver and care-receiver issues. Sessions include information on bullying, technology safety, mental health, spirituality and recovery, the connection between physical health and mental illness, worksite wellness, employment and unemployment issues, Affordable Care Act tutorial, and tips for safety and care of seniors. As in previous years, veterans' issues including employment, disability, credit counseling, and alternative therapies for PTSD will be featured as area organizations continue to strive to create a veteran-friendly community in McHenry County. Also returning this year is the standing-room-only topic of "Where to Go in McHenry County," featuring a panel of experts that will take questions from the audience. The morning will conclude with a humorous and heartwarming presentation by Shira Greenfield of Centegra Health System, called "Laugh for the Health of It!"

"We are excited to have the opportunity to offer some of the most crucial information that is needed by so many in the McHenry County area," Thomas said. "Nowhere else is it possible to learn so much about how to help our neighbors in one morning. The People in Need Forum is a unique event and McHenry County College is proud to lead the effort."

Admission is free, but registration is required and may be completed online at www.mchenry.edu/peopleinneed.

Each registered attendee will receive the People in Need Resource Directory, the only printed directory of its kind in McHenry County, and a flash drive that contains the entire resource directory, several of the event presentations, plus in-depth agency information. Sponsors of this year's directory and flash drive are McHenry County Community Foundation and Midwest Bank, respectively. For more information, call Bev Thomas at (815) 479-7792.

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