by Tina Podboy Laughner, Volunteer & Outreach Manager
Senior Services wishes to honor ALL of our vaccine clinic volunteers as our Volunteers of the Month for May! Senior Services began hosting Midland County Department of Public Health Vaccine Clinics in mid-January at least once a week. Because the health department started with the oldest county residents first, we were a logical choice to host the clinics, and we continued until most local older adults were covered. At the beginning, our staff helped with the clinics, which were held both as walk-in and drive throughs, but we soon saw the need for more help and reached out to our loyal volunteers! Initially I contacted those who had served as Friendly Visitors and then added a few others who I thought would be willing to help. Then others stepped up – people who had volunteered in the past for Senior Services, friends of some of our volunteers, and even family members of staff! All in all, other than staff, we had almost 35 volunteers help over 3,000 Midland County older adults get their COVID 19 vaccines! With the organization and planning of the health department staff, our staff and the volunteers, we had a well-oiled machine! Those volunteers helped with traffic control in the parking lot, moving people through the building for the walk-in clinics, and monitoring the 15 minute wait time after the vaccine. The weather was usually cooperative – I don’t think we ever had snow, though we definitely had cold – and just a little bit of rain. These people volunteered in two to two and a half hour shifts – sometimes taking two shifts in a row – in clinics that were held one day each week. Here are some of their comments:
“loved my shift today”
“I had so much fun today.”
“I enjoyed helping today and would be happy to help again”
I think many of them felt as I did: that we were a part of history, doing our part in something that helped our community during this pandemic.
Thank you, vaccine clinic volunteers, for your willingness to help in this heroic endeavor!
Joan and Phil Donatelli
Mike & Linda Hamilton
Paula and Steve Albertson
Sue and Jim Burke
If you are in need of any of the programs and services that Senior Services offers, call (989) 633-3700. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, call Tina at (989) 633-3741.