THANK YOU, Volunteers: You ARE the American Red Cross

By Sukripa Shah

It’s been quite a year. The coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact on all of us — individuals, communities, and the nation as a whole. The fear of illness, the toll on our physical and mental health, and the burden of job insecurity have all left an indelible mark. But now, with spring and a rousing vaccine rollout, we’re finally seeing a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. Sure, it’s not over. We’re still getting back on our feet. But we’re seeing shots going in arms all across Pennsylvania. That alone has reignited hope for a better future in 2021.

At the Philadelphia Convention Center, vaccine recipients expressed the same hope and optimism as they lined up to get their COVID-19 shots. And you — the Red Cross volunteers of Southeastern Pennsylvania — were on hand to help. Thank you, volunteers, for your time, energy, and dedication to keeping our communities, families, and children safe.

Volunteers at the convention center vaccine event filled a variety of nonmedical roles:

  • Access and functional needs: Addressing any language, mobility, or behavioral health needs and connecting people to the appropriate resources 
  • Greeting and traffic flow: Keeping the mood upbeat while reminding those in line to stay socially distanced 
  • Registration station: Directing new arrivals to registration tables 
  • Wellness checkpoint: Asking pre-vaccine wellness screening questions 
  • Appointment verification: Checking appointments in the PrepMod system 
  • Observation/PrepMod and 2nd appointment registration: Directing first-dose recipients to make an appointment for their second
  • Exit guide: Maintaining orderly exit protocols

Because of Red Cross volunteers, medical professionals at the event were able to focus on their area of expertise: getting people vaccinated! We’re grateful to all of you for your valuable support in inoculating hope and courage into the people of our neighboring cities and counties. Thank you! 

Primary image description: Three Red Cross volunteers of Southeastern Pennsylvania wearing masks and social distancing stand in front of a Red Cross disaster relief vehicle near the Pennsylvania Convention Center’s COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Philadelphia, PA. In front of the volunteers is a table with a red tablecloth with the Red Cross logo on it, holding bottles of water and snacks.

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