Report from Fairchild Task Force

By Cindy Currier

The Village of Fairchild has developed their own task force as a result of JONAH’s connections and support. They are not officially a JONAH taskforce, but we love the example of rural community organizing they set and are standing by their side and sharing their good work. They identified their top 3 issue goals and continue to bring people and partners in and make steps toward what they feel their community needs. Here is a report of their recent activities written by Cindy Currier, their leader.

In July the taskforce was very productive. We had nine people present. It took a little longer for introductions, but it was worth it! We had a guest speaker from United Way out of Eau Claire come and talk about the State Internet initiative. Amber from United Way would like to come back to provide a meal and talk more in depth about the needs of individuals internet access and business access in our area. Stay tuned for that date and more information.

Here is also some more information on the BEAD (Broadband, Equity, Access, and Deployment) Program where Wisconsin received over $1 billion to ensure everyone has high-speed internet: Eau Claire County and Towns will likely work together to write grant applications. Here is more information on the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) where eligible households can receive up to $30/month off their internet bill and a one time $100 discount on a device:  

The Senior Taskforce talked about doing a survey for the Fairchild residents to find out more of what they want.

The Superintendent for the Fairchild Elementary school will not allow us to use the school for an exercise room, they were instructed by their insurance company that they could not do this. The only other option is to see if Fairchild wants to build onto the community center or revamp a building downtown. We are looking into grants to maybe see what we can get for Fairchild. If we get grants we will take it to the committees in Fairchild for approval. They still are allowing walking in the gym and giving us the kindergarten room for teaching classes like GED. Sue Loughan spoke on setting up exercise classes and or other classes for Fairchild residents, most likely at the Community Center. She is also considering donating a TV and DVR/CD player for the Community Center. We will share her classes as they are finalized.

There was discussion on the Adopt a Grandparent program for Fairchild. Bob Stitt’s had some awesome suggestions: Look into Kinship, First Aide classes for Grandparents, CPR Classes for Grandparents, have teams of 2 or 3, or maybe having Grandparents host a dinner where kids and families come to get to know the grandparents. I am working on getting someone to come train the Grandparents and others in Fairchild on CPR and First Aid. Working on a letter to residents to ask if families and Grandparents would be interested in getting involved. This will go out in a mailer. PLEASE send me more ideas and concerns for Adopt a Grandparent!

Gail mentioned that Augusta has what is called Smile Time, where people bring animals into their community center for residents to pet and feed. I suggested that maybe Gail look into contacting the people that brings the Animals to Augusta and ask if they would consider bringing them to our community center in Fairchild and talking to Billy about coordinating a day and time, maybe once a month?

The Kids Taskforce, other than working on Adopt a grandparent, are getting to know some of the families at HOPE and Cope and will encourage them to come to other activities they will be planning in the future for Fairchild and kids.

The Drug Taskforce heard that the Eau Claire County Sheriff has put vending machines in EC for free Narcan nasal spray and Fentanyl test strips. Lynn from Jonah asked if Fairchild would be interested. After input from Chief Chad Halvorson it was agreed by all that they didn’t think this was a good option for Fairchild at this time.

The Next Fairchild Taskforce Meeting will be September 7th from 6:30 – 8:30PM.

Hope and Cope
This event is a monthly event to connect people to each other, to local resources, and offer services that build resilience.

We are working with Tri-county paper to advertise Hope and Cope for free! We had 35 people attend Hope and Cope on July 8th. Consider this is summer and the 4th of July week. I felt it was good attendance. In August the event was held at the Community Center and we had 18 children, 56 adults and 3 dogs.Twice as many as July! 

The Following are the groups we had involved: Family Resource Center – Deneshia did face painting and had an awesome display for families and kids. Kids Workshops – Liz helps kids with painting stepping stones and rocks. Jennifer and Terri hosted the scavenger hunt and yarn art. Epic Epiiphany -Tanya Lee,Cailey and Aidan from JONAH helped attendees decorate their flower pots and take a flower home. EC Health Dept – Three ladies came and gave very good information on many areas the Health Dept has to offer. Better Horizons Massage – Kim had a line waiting very patiently for their free massage! Celebrate Recovery – Cindy gave away 3 free books and talked to a couple new people.

What I have noticed and greatly appreciate is that people are coming together and getting to know each other and enjoying themselves! If you’d like to be involved or have questions, you can contact Cindy at [email protected] or 715-797-1542. 

The next Fairchild Hope and Cope event will be September 9th from 12 -2PM at the Fairchild Community Center.