By Lynda L. Jones
Mayor Tom Barrett along with Health Commissioner Bevan Baker are reaching out to area clergy leaders to help inform the public on Safe Sleep for infants. As shared in last week’s Courier through his article on Infant Morality, Barrett announced that the next phase of the Infant Mortality campaign would be a safe sleep campaign at Mayfair Mall where in partnership with Columbia St. Mary’s hospital area organizations that have become Safe Sleep Community Partners were recognozed. This week a information luncheon was held in preparation for the ‘Safe Sleep Sabbath’, where area clergy have committed to deliveriing the safe sleep infant message during their services on Sunday, Oct. 9, 2011.
More than 70 clergy members attended the luncheon, where they were addressed by members of the health department, the mayor and members of Columbia St. Mary’s hospital and given some factual tools to take back to their congregations and share with them for the ‘Safe Sleep Sabbath’.
The mayor sought out this method of educating the public further on this issue by calling on the clergy just as he has done for many year’s with the city’s ‘Ceasfire Sabbath’ aimed at eliminating gun violence.
Baker expressed that there needs to be a ‘convenant’ for working to keep sleeping babies safe. He stated that he chose the term ‘convenant’ because this word goes beyond a partnership, it is a bond, it transcends the limits of partnership or commitment, it is solid and based on your core beliefs. He also expressed his desire to have this message saturated throughout the community, this is an issue that is preventable. He said that he was always taught that, “The task ahead of you is not as great as the power behind you.”
The date of the Safe Sleep Sabbath is again Sunday, Oct. 9, 2011, and there is still time for clergy members that may not have attended the luncheon to still be a part of the event. Information is available at www.safesleepsabbath.com and for those who want to be involved beyond the one day event there are also opportunitites to do that as well through the same website.