On April 28th, hundreds of people gathered at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Charleston for the 4th Annual Holistic Health and Wellness Fair. The event was a part of Tai Chi Catalyst4Change, a local project aimed to teach members of the community Tai Chi and improve the balance, agility, strength, flexibility, stamina, muscle tone, and coordination of participants. The project not only holds weekly Tai Chi sessions at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation, but also works with after-school students at Mary C. Snow Elementary School.
Their efforts are a part of Try This West Virginia, a statewide coalition of local leaders who are trying to knock West Virginia off the worst healthy list one community project at a time. Try This WV has helped to recruit, train, and fund more than two hundred teams like this one in Kanawha County, in just the last four years.
The Prevention Research Council at WVU released a report evaluating the model used in Try This WV. The study was conducted by a team of researchers from across Appalachia and is in the process of being reviewed by national public health journals for publication.
One of the study’s main findings is that in the first year, every $1 invested by Try This West Virginia into local communities, those communities were able to generate $11 in matching funds with the assistance of volunteer time, in-kind donations, and other grants.
Try This WV is a coalition that thrives because of statewide partnerships including the Bureau for Public Health, KEYS 4 Healthy Kids, Step by Step, WVU Extension Service, the Benedum Foundation, WV Community Development Hub, WV Healthy Kids and Families Coalition, and many others that serve as steering committee members.
Are you interested in starting a community project that gets people moving or eating healthy foods?
Join in at the Try This WV Conference, June 15 and 16th. The conference will host over 40 workshops sharing knowledge and resources that you can take back and use in your region. If you already have a project in the works, attend the conference with a team of three, and you can apply for a mini-grant that qualifies up to $3,000. Register for the Try This WV Conference here: www.trythiswv.com/conference.