On a very rainy Saturday at the end of February, I crowded under the tent outside Metro with a few of our food pantry volunteers to sign up anyone who wanted to get a COVID vaccine. Our neighborhood Ryan Health Center accepted us as a vaccine distribution location (yay, we get to host a pop up!), and after a few weeks of planning together, we finally confirmed that we could fill 40 appointment spots. Roberto was the first person I spoke to. He said “yes” very quickly. At some point in the middle of filling out the three forms needed to register for the appointment, he said, “Thank you so much for doing this! I don’t have a computer and I don’t have family to help me, so I couldn’t ever get an appointment.” Later in the morning, we did a dance with another client as she finished all her forms and reserved her spot. We signed up about 15 people that morning. Together with our program participants, local schools, and a shelter, we quickly filled all 40 spots and had a waiting list.
This past Saturday, during food pantry, Ryan Health’s nurses set up in Metro's fellowship room, and, following strict COVID safety precautions, folks filed in to receive their first dose. On April 3rd, they will come again to receive their second.
This week, your gifts supported access to vaccines for shelter staff, teachers and our NYC community’s most vulnerable. Thank you for giving.
-Lesley-Ann Hix Tommey, serving as field personnel in New York, NY