AmeriCorps Announces New Grant for COVID-19 Vaccination Education for High-risk Groups in Oklahoma
American Rescue Plan-funded grant awarded to Tulsa’s LIFE Seniors Services through AmeriCorps Seniors RSVP program
WASHINGTON, D.C. – AmeriCorps, the federal agency for volunteerism and service, announced today a new project designed to deliver COVID-19 vaccine education to the most at-risk communities in Tulsa, Okla.
LIFE Senior Services is alleviating the ill effects of loneliness and isolation, which were magnified due to COVID-19-related safety precautions. Its Senior Pals program places AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers in targeted locations where they will provide vaccine education and encouragement through peer-to-peer interactions. The volunteers will serve senior citizens in Tulsa, Creek, and Wagoner counties.
“Older Americans like those serving in Senior Pals help address challenges they see in their communities,” said Atalaya Sergi, director of AmeriCorps Seniors. “Their service, knowledge and lived experience is critical to LIFE Senior Services being able to operate and reach those in need, which right now is more important than ever. These funds, targeted toward groups disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, are our first step in ensuring that we can help communities Build Back Better.”
“We know that too many seniors suffer isolation, and the pandemic worsened their situations. LIFE Senior Services is so excited and grateful to receive this AmeriCorps award to implement the Senior Pals program. Senior Pals will offer meaningful volunteer options and provide relief from isolation to so many seniors,” said Eileen Bradshaw, President and CEO of Life Senior Services.
Today’s announcement builds on AmeriCorps’ grant announcement in San Joaquin County, Calif. and AmeriCorps’ Encore Intergenerational Vaccine Corps, a partnership with encore.org which mobilizes retired medical professionals to become AmeriCorps Seniors RSVP volunteers and vaccinate those in high-need areas and clinics in the California Bay Area.
AmeriCorps continues to invest in the nation’s COVID-19 recovery. With existing programs in more than 40,000 locations across the country, AmeriCorps is uniquely positioned to bolster community response efforts. In response to the pandemic, thousands of AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers across all 50 states and U.S. territories have continued their service, quickly adapting to meet the changing needs caused by the pandemic and have provided vital support, community response, and recovery efforts, providing support to more than 11.5 million Americans, including 2.5 million people at vaccination sites. Last month, AmeriCorps awarded nearly $6 million to senior volunteer programs that will increase COVID-19 relief efforts and address critical community needs.