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Hattiesburg non-profit hosting community cookout and wellness fair

Published: Sep. 16, 2021 at 7:23 PM CDT
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Learning more about mental, physical and spiritual health are the focus points of a community cookout on Sept. 18th at Eastside Park.

Vyzen is a non-profit organization that educates people on those three critical points of wellbeing: Mind, body, spirit.

Saturday at Eastside Park in Hattiesburg, Vyzen will have a community cookout and wellness fair from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. People can enjoy free food and learn about local health organizations and their resources.

Founder Theo Sutton says he began working with kids at his first job and it inspired him to start the non-profit.

“I started seeing the need as I went further in my career working in DHS and things of that nature and kids with behavior issues,” Sutton says. “I saw that, you know, a lot of these kids, especially young men, don’t know how to express themselves. They hold a lot of these things and they’ve turned to violence and drugs and things of that nature because they don’t really know how to express themselves in a positive way.”

“So I just want to kind of, you know, help them. I think if we expose them to things in opportunities and let them know that there are other options. I think that’d be great for for for the future generation.”

The event will feature resource booths from Pine Belt Mental Health, Southeast Mississippi Rural Health Initiative and more.

The event will feature resource booths from Pine Belt Mental Health, Southeast Mississippi...
The event will feature resource booths from Pine Belt Mental Health, Southeast Mississippi Rural Health Initiative and more.(Vyzen)

“A lot of people in underserved communities don’t really have access to the resources. They don’t really know about the resources that are available to them, as far as full-body health, mental and spiritual health. So I want to bring it right to their backyard. So hopefully they can come out and see that they are there’s help available for them and they can thrive in a way that’s conducive to them,” Sutton explains.

Organization President LaKeylah White thanked the sponsors including the Forrest County NAACP, Forrest County Board of Supervisors, Twin Forks Rising Community Development Corporation and the Mississippi Rising Coalition.

“...especially Supervisor Sharon Thompson. This area is near and dear to my heart. She really wants to help the youth,” White says. “And I just feel like... we need more of some of these local nonprofits and organizations just coming together. A lot of times we are always talking separately, but we are having so many organizations that are involved in the community to come out here. So it would be a great resource for the community.”

The cookout will have free hotdogs, hamburgers, chips and drinks. If there is rain on Saturday, the event will still take place on a smaller scale under the shelter at Eastside Park.

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