Comic-Con@Home 2021 SuperVolunteer Challenge: Volume 3
Vinny A, El Cerrito, CA says: Just wrapped up a 2 + month long volunteer assignment at a number of vaccine drives in the Bay Area, through Contra Costa Health Services and our local Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).
We provided traffic management for drive-through and inner-city walk-up vaccination sites in multiple locations in the area. As CERT members, we were responsible for ensuring the proper flow of traffic from one station to another and to the observation area where individuals were held for 15 mins to ensure that there were no adverse reactions to the vaccine and released. The main site had 40,000 vehicles come through and the walk-up sites, held in communities where folks did not have access to transportation, were a great success as well. This was a massive community effort and the CERT volunteers were an integral part of its success. CERT is a volunteer group which primarily trains for providing support to first responders and other public health and safety teams in case of an emergency such as an earthquake or other natural disasters.
Sue (Director of Volunteer Services) says: Yes, a massive community effort by massively awesome volunteers. I'm here to CERTify that you are all SUPER volunteers. (See what I did there?) Vinny is the guy in the middle in this photo. Thanks, Vinny!
Virginia G, Cardiff, CA says: I'm 180 days into a 2-year commitment to the AstraZeneca Covid 19 Vaccine Trial. I also do volunteer hours demonstrating Bobbin Lace-making once a month.
Sue says: What a great contribution to the US and the world - to help eradicate COVID-19! I bet the lace is beautiful, too! Thanks, Virginia.
Danielle A., San Diego, CA says: I've been volunteering at a vaccine supercenter at registration/appointments. It's been a lot of fun getting to meet new people and seeing them return in 3 or 4 weeks for the second round. We have lots of FORMS.
Sue says: Oooo - I love FORMS! Danielle is also in Blog #2 for a short-term stint showing off her desk drawer building talents to help middle school children and artistic talents in covering up graffiti in the community. And, of course, she volunteers for Comic-Con as do almost all of the volunteers we are featuring in these blogs. Yay, Danielle!
Ellen L., South Bay, CA says: I enjoy volunteering at Torrance Memorial Medical Center. I have been volunteering in the Escort department for 6 years. I help the medical center by discharging patients, delivering flowers and helping patients and visitors find their way around the hospital. I find it rewarding to help people during difficult times and put a smile on their face.
Sue says: Hospital workers have been working long days and nights during the pandemic, so anyone volunteering to help relieve that stress is awesome. I'm sure there are a lot of smiling faces at Torrance Memorial right now. Thanks, Ellen!
Andrea K, Hillboro, OR says: Annual Robert A. Heinlein Blood Drives: Because the grumpy old man we all loved would have wanted us to donate blood during this time! Heinlein was famous for having no sympathy for those who could not do. Even something as serious as the pandemic, and the fact that we cannot be together would not have been a good enough excuse for him to not give blood. Now more than ever it is needed, and I believe that if he was still alive, he would challenge us to give. I took up this challenge and earned my spot as a Blood Drive superhero! Others can do the same by going to this website.
Sue says: We have our own month-long Heinlein blood drive happening during Comic-Con@Home from July 23, 2021 until August 29, 2021. Check out our Website for details. Donating blood is the gift of life and there is no greater gift you can give. Thanks, Andrea!!
Chris W., San Diego, CA says: In May 2021, I had the honor of serving as a Volunteer for the Federal Emergency Management Agency [FEMA] Vaccination Mission centered at Military Circle Mall COVID-19 Vaccination Center [MCM CVC] in Norfolk, VA. This FEMA mission was in partnership with the Virginia Department of Public Health, Virginia National Guard, Department of Defense, City of Norfolk Health and Emergency Management, Team Rubicon, Volunteer Hampton Roads, and local communities, and whose goal was to broaden access to, provide clear education on, and increase utilization of the COVID-19 vaccine in underserved communities and populations.
Having been trained to administer immunizations in 1997 and later becoming an immunization trainer, I was selected for the Norfolk mission along with other pharmacists from Maryland, Michigan, Texas, Washington, Illinois, Massachusetts, Virginia, North Carolina, Idaho, and California.
Established on March 31, 2021, MCM CVC was run by volunteers, federal staff, and navy corpsmen. People were able to sign up for appointments for COVID-19 vaccination or just walk in. During the time I was on-site at MCM CVS from May 2 to May 9, I was part of the team of pharmacists and navy corpsmen who administered 8,951 COVID-19 vaccines. As of 5/22/2021, 83,571 COVID-19 vaccines had been administered at MCM CVC.
While MCM CVC was the hub of the COVID-19 immunization efforts, deeper outreach into the community was part of the overall strategy. Churches in Chesapeake, Newport News, and Norfolk served as immunization event sites, and I was Pharmacy Lead at three such events held at First Baptist Church in Chesapeake from May 17 to May 22. These events took the vaccine closer to the people in the communities and where they lived, removing barriers to their receipt of immunizations.
Additionally, immunization events were scheduled at high schools in Portsmouth and Virginia Beach. I was part of the pharmacy team for the May 18 event held at Kempsville High School, and was also assisted by the Virginia Medical Reserve Corps which consisted of nurses, nurse practitioners, and physicians.
The gratitude of people to whom we administered COVID-19 vaccine, the patience as they waited in lines and waited after immunization administration for observation was all heartening. I felt good knowing I was volunteering for and playing a part to help people during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sue says: Well, there isn't a whole lot to say after such a great report, except that we are grateful to Chris and all those like him who have volunteered at vaccine sites, in vaccine trials, at hospitals and in their neighborhoods to help fight the pandemic. Our heartfelt thanks to all of you!