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Community leaders register voters and distribute vaccines at Henderson park party

"We got very low numbers of turnout, and I'm trying to do something to change that," one organizer said.

HENDERSON, Texas — The sweltering heat didn't stop hundreds of people from making their way to Yates Park in Henderson for a day of food, games and music.

Rev. Steve Miller said today is a return to gatherings from when he was a kid, but also about much more.

"Make sure the children of Henderson have exactly what they need to make sure the voters have exactly what they need and then we all have a good time at the same time," Miller said.  

There was voter registration, COVID-19 vaccinations, and free physicals and school clothes, all available for the Henderson community. 

Rusk County Democratic Chair Regina Adams said an invite from Miller was all she needed to come out. 

"We got very low numbers of turnout, and I'm trying to do something to change that," Adams said.

Both Adams and Miller say it's these types of events that bring everyone together where change begins. After only a few hours, Adams already registered more than expected.  

"We have about 15 and that's good because usually you only get one or two," Adams said. 

"What's the best way to make sure our democracy lasts and ensures its longevity for as long as we can?" Miller questioned. "To make sure that people are registered to vote and to make sure they get out to vote."

For Cassandra Jones, coming out to help her community is a no-brainer. She specializes in helping kids get ready for the school year. 

"I work for the school and I see a lot of needy kids," JOnes said. "So my heart just felt that I needed to do something."

Jones says these clothes are available to anyone who needs them. 

"After I found out that they were doing this here at the park, I thought that this would be better, we could reach more people this way and expand it," JOnes added. 

Miller said he's planning events like today in a few other East Texas counties.

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