Today’s blog is not about Lake Maxinkuckee or conservation but I had such a positive experience yesterday that I wanted to share.
I received an email a few weeks ago through Town Gown & Lake (TG&L) about the need for non-medical volunteers to help with COVID vaccinations.
URGENT MARSHALL COUNTY NEED:
COVID Vaccine Volunteers
Saint Joseph Health System needs your HELP bringing this deadly pandemic to an end. With vaccine now in stock, SJHS’s goal is to vaccinate as many as possible AS FAST AS POSSIBLE, consistent with the State guidelines. Each day matters in this race towards ending COVID-19. As a result, SJHS is in immediate need of VOLUNTEERS to assist in their vaccine clinics.
The email ended with
“Please help us save lives.”
I felt compelled to help. I signed up for two shifts in January and completed my first one yesterday. I was stationed at the end, after shots were administered, where people had to wait for 15 minutes to be monitored for side effects. Everyone was so grateful and appreciative – both to be receiving the vaccine and just to be out and about! We laughed, joked, shared stories, and generally had a wonderful time – which seems like an odd thing to say when receiving a shot! We had people staying longer than the required time because we were just enjoying ourselves and would lose track of time. As some people left, they jokingly asked if they could come back the next day.
Trying to get people to take the early morning slots for their second dose was hilarious, Given the option of a 7:00 am appointment, those retirees would clutch their chest and say “Honey, I’m retired. Don’t you have an afternoon spot?”
Since the current phase is mostly for 70 and older, I saw adult children bringing their parents, long-time married couples, proudly sharing how long they had been together, a few siblings who still torment each other and sadly, some people by themselves, who had lost their spouse and were alone.
“They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world: someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for.”
― Tom Bodett
We are bombarded with so much negativity in the news right now but yesterday I saw love, joy and compassion for an entire afternoon. It was intoxicating and I want more of that so I signed up for 3 more shifts in February.
Hi, I’m Debbie Palmer. I received a BS in Horticulture from Purdue University. Here at LMEF, I am responsible for outreach presentations, monitoring the lake and it’s wetlands, project manager for restoration and research projects, and act as a community resource for all things related to the well-being of Lake Maxinkuckee and its surrounding watershed. I completed Indiana Watershed Leadership Academy, volunteer with the Indiana Clean Lakes Program, Hoosier River Watch and Marshall County Lakes and Waters and serve as a Board Member for Indiana Lakes Management Society.
Good for you…and good for everyone who has waited patiently for the vaccine shot.
Thanks for volunteering. And thanks for the first hand reporting too! Glad to hear that it is going smoothly.
Thanks for volunteering and sharing the happiness, Debbie! I hope all the sites are having similar experiences!
Great Blog, Debbie. I heard about it through Adam. It was wonderful hearing your impressions of volunteering at SJRMC-Plymouth. I too am volunteering and my experience has been the same. I like working the back section where great interactions take place!