Unity festival takes on dental, health care cause


Staff Writer

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

A group of local churches and businesses are coming together to give back to the Twin Counties.

The ninth annual Community for Unity Festival will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Boone Street Park at 539 Eleanor Place in Rocky Mount. The festival is sponsored by Joy Community Development Corp., in conjunction with Greater Joy Baptist Church.

Bishop Shelton Daniel, founder of Joy Community Development Corp. and pastor of Greater Joy Baptist Church, said the purpose of the event is to help the local community. During the event, free dental care and free health screenings will be provided to anyone who doesn’t have insurance, Daniel said.

“We’re going to be providing people with cleanings, extractions and fillings at no charge to them,” he said. “We also are going to be providing basic health tests such as blood pressure, diabetes and blood glucose tests.  We look at this as a time for us to allow everyone to be on even and equal playing ground when it comes to dental care, health care and having basic needs met. It’s our responsibility that when we have been blessed that we bless others.”

The Community for Unity Festival is one of the larger free events held in South Rocky Mount, with an estimated attendance of 3,000 people, according to figures from the city’s Parks and Recreation Department. Daniel said South Rocky Mount is a major focus of his ministry.

Recently, Daniel said, a job fair held at the South Rocky Mount Community Center helped the unemployed find work in the Twin Counties.

“As we’re clearly aware, we have some disparities nationwide, but then there are pockets of communities that have even more prevalent (needs),” Daniel said. “South Rocky Mount is just a love for me, and it was where I was called to pastor by God. It’s a community that I care about.”

In addition to free dental care and free health care screenings for the uninsured, Daniel said, the festival will provide free food such as hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken and popcorn. The event also will feature live music and entertainment, inflatables for children, face painting, giveaways, games, college information and financial assistance resources on hand.

Daniel said local law enforcement agencies will have a drunk driving simulation for teenagers to learn more about the dangers of driving while intoxicated. 

For more information about the event, call (252) 442-0958 or go to www.greaterjoymbc.org.