A Luau Parade Winds Through Woonsocket
The Luau parade was inspired by birthday and welcome home parades done recently by so many families to help increase a feeling of being connected through the social isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, it's May is Mental Health Awareness Month, so what better way to say to Woonsocket residents that our collaborating agencies, Community Care Alliance (CCA) & Thundermist Health Center, are supportive neighbors—we're here and we will get through this together!
Members of the CCA & Thundermist PIPBHC (Promoting the Integration of Primary and Behavioral Healthcare) Teams came together at the One Social Street parking lot to decorate cars with signs promoting mental health awareness and contact numbers for the two agencies. The PIPBHC Team provides a collaborative system of care that addresses both the physical and emotional well-being of all members of a family. Members of the CCA & Thundermist PIPBHC Team include Katie Randall, Daniel Barbosa, Kristen Moreau, Jessica Mullaly, Jennifer Leno, Annie Jones, Melissa Everton, Darnell Nash, Daniel Zarinzcy, & Annie Cortes.
The route of the Luau parade was chosen to celebrate essential workers & open businesses—schools serving Grab & Go lunches, fire & police stations, Landmark Hospital, Thundermist, the Woonsocket Shelter, and other CCA buildings, as well as residential areas such as Bourdon Blvd, Morin Heights, and apartment complexes where there are many families. The community expressed an ecstatic response to the beeping and waving, and many kids and adults ran out of their buildings waving and yelling "THANK YOU!" with bright smiles on their faces. Many large vehicles (Fedex, UPS, 18-wheelers) on the streets beeped and waved, and passenger cars drove along with us. It was an amazing feeling to see so many people enjoying the decorations and waving. but it meant a lot for the team to come together and do something different and fun, where we knew we could make a positive difference for people immediately! Our favorite was seeing Betty Verducci, CCA Human Resources Assistant, smiling and waving through the 3rd floor window at 800 Clinton Street like a storm trooper welcoming us home, as that was the last stop on our parade route! It was immediate gratification to see so many smiles and waves, and even if we just made one person smile, it made us feel connected as well!
—As told by Katie Randall,LICSW, PIPBHC Program Manager