Written by Pingyao Lee and Kate Chen
Translated by Hong (Ariel) Chan
Edited by Ida Eva Zielinska
Although the United States has a COVID-19 vaccination rate of more than 60%, many people still have reservations about the vaccine and have not received their shots. Therefore, the government continues the call for vaccination to protect citizens and their families.
To care for people’s health in the communities it serves, the Tzu Chi USA Northwest Region collaborated with the County of Santa Clara government to offer vaccination to people over the age of 12 in the San Jose area on July 24, 2021. The event took place at the Tzu Chi USA Northwest Region campus in San Jose, reopening its doors for community services for the first time since March 2020, when pandemic lockdowns began, making this occasion extra special.
Anne Chang, Public Information Officer at Santa Clara County’s Emergency Operations Center during COVID-19, said that supplies of the vaccine were insufficient at the beginning of the pandemic, and they couldn’t administer large-scale vaccination. Currently having ample doses of the vaccine available, she hopes to vaccinate all the residents in the community efficiently.
During the pandemic, Tzu Chi USA provided a lot of services and charity aid in the community; therefore, the Santa Clara County government was eager to collaborate. Additionally, Tzu Chi volunteers’ warm and attentive approach put people at ease, even those uncertain about vaccination, such as one care recipient who expressed concern since she was unwell. However, her anxiety subsided thanks to the support of volunteers.
Tzu Chi volunteer Jim Toal, who was in charge of liaison and planning for the event, said that the volunteers used various methods to promote it and advocate vaccination. They distributed flyers in different languages among several businesses in cities not far from the Tzu Chi USA Northwest Region campus in San Jose. Some volunteers spread the word through social media or word of mouth, hoping to offer vaccination to as many people as possible.
On the day of the vaccination service, everything went smoothly thanks to the efforts of volunteers from both Tzu Chi USA and the Santa Clara County government. It was equally an opportunity for both parties’ volunteers to build a strong rapport. It’s a collaborative relationship that everyone hopes to continue in the future, jointly responding to community needs as they arise.
Although the event only lasted for four hours, since it was the first time since March 2020 that Tzu Chi USA reopened its Northwest Region campus for community services, it felt all the more significant for all involved.
Serving communities with compassion and care is what being a Tzu Chi volunteer is all about, and you be part of the journey of helping those in need by supporting Tzu Chi’s missions. Let’s relieve suffering, bring hope, and offer vital assistance during challenging times!