Providence is a special city for Matthew Slater and his family. It's the city where his wife, Dr. Shahrzad Slater, completed her rotations, where they met and where their three children were born. Now, the Slater family is pouring that love back into Providence.
On Aug. 7, the Slater Family Foundation is hosting its inaugural Community Jamboree to showcase local resources and foster a sense of community.
"We've done life in Providence for quite a while ... It's a community that we really love," Matthew said on the latest episode of Do Your Part. "It's a community that really poured into us and helped us, especially as young people, as a young couple."
While the where is important, the Community Jamboree is really about bringing people together. After the isolation felt by everyone during the pandemic, Matthew said it was crucial to remind people that there is value in a true community.
"Community is vital. And I think we were made to be relational. We were made to be in community, working together, serving together doing life together. And that was taken from us last year," Matthew said.
The Slater Family Foundation is also hoping to use this event to connect residents with resources. They want to put an emphasis on health. Social connection is a piece of that puzzle, but there is so much more to maintaining a healthy life. The event will feature local vendors and organizations for guests to visit and learn about.
"The whole idea is health as a person," Dr. Slater said. "It's all the determinants of health: environment, medical, social systems, spiritual help, nutrition, mental health, fitness, education, economics. Everybody has been affected with COVID, especially low income and minority communities. We're not trying to reinvent the wheel. We're trying to show people resources who needed them before the pandemic.
While this is the first Community Jamboree for the Slater family, they are regulars at Patriots Foundation events, including their three children. In July, the entire family spent the day at the Ron Burton Training Village.
There is a reason, Matthew said, that it is the Slater Family Foundation, and not the Matthew Slater Foundation. Family is the core of it all.
"Certainly, as a parent, you have a responsibility to pour into your children the right way," he said. "For us, it's important that we're intentional with our children … Everything that we have has been given to us by God, and it's important that we share and serve others. You get so much more to life when you serve with humility and grace and try to meet people's needs where they are."
The Slater Family Foundation Community Jamboree will take place on Aug. 7 from 12 to 5 at Dexter Training Ground in Providence. You can learn more about the event here.