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Michigan Community Service Commission manages volunteers at Ford Field Vaccination Site
Ethelyn Carroll takes pride in volunteering because it is important for her attitude toward life in general. She believes that serving others is an opportunity to give them a "present."
Recently, Carroll gifted her time at the Ford Field mass COVID-19 vaccination site. The Michigan Community Service Commission recruited and managed more than 1,000 offers from volunteers to serve at the site. The site administered over 275,000 doses of the vaccine
"The 'present' may be giving out useful information, or a ride, or dropping off flyers or talking to a person about their day," said Carroll.
Carroll's main role at the site included giving a warm and welcoming presence when the public entered the building.
Her warmth extended beyond just welcoming guests; she escorted wheelchair-bound people and those who had difficulty walking to the sign-in table, then sat with people as they signed in, got vaccinated, and after the fact to see if anyone had a bad reaction. When they were cleared, Carroll helped escort them out. She supported patients throughout their entire experience at the site.
David Dodds also volunteered and assisted patients filling out their medical questionnaires prior to getting vaccinated. He also helped with the Michigan Mask Sewing Project, making 100 child-sized masks that were donated to Wyandotte and Southgate Head Start programs.
"I guess it felt like my duty to try and contribute somehow," said Dodds."Maybe vaccinations will help things get back to normal, so I'm glad I can contribute to that."
More than 5,000 residents arrived at the vaccination site daily, so the help of the volunteers played a large role in the efficiency of the clinic.
Among those volunteering at the clinic were AmeriCorps members from the Detroit Urban Safety Project, Team Rubicon, Community Emergency Response Team volunteers, and community members. The Michigan Community Service Commission also leveraged a National Civilian Conservation Corps team of eight members to assist the clinic for over a month, helping manage volunteers.
"It is inspiring to see the wide support from national service members and volunteers who have all joined efforts to help Michigan respond and recover from COVID-19," said Ginna Holmes, Michigan Community Service Commission's executive director.