AmeriCorps Announces New Grant for COVID Vaccinations to High Risk Groups in California
American Rescue Plan-funded grant awarded to Reinvent Stockton through the AmeriCorps Seniors RSVP program
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, AmeriCorps, the federal agency for volunteering and service, announced a new project designed to deliver COVID vaccines to the most at-risk groups in San Joaquin County, California.
The Reinvent Stockton Foundation, in partnership with HealthForce Partners, Community Medical Centers, and the Stockton Strong COVID-19 Response coalition will place 75 AmeriCorps Seniors RSVP volunteers in nine community health clinics. These volunteers will conduct community outreach, recruit additional volunteers, and organize vaccine events at Federally Qualified Health Centers.
“Older Americans serve to help address challenges they see in their communities,” said Atalaya Sergi, director of AmeriCorps Seniors. “Their service, knowledge and lived experience is critical to community-based organizations being able to operate and reach all those in need, which right now is more important than ever. These funds, targeted towards groups disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, are our first step in ensuring that we can help communities Build Back Better.”
“AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers have played a critical role in helping our country respond to and recover from COVID-19,” said Karen Dahl, Senior Advisor for COVID-19. “The historic funding provided by the American Rescue Plan Act is enabling AmeriCorps to work with our community partners to do even more to help address significant needs that have worsened as a result of the pandemic.”
“The Reinvent Stockton Foundation is proud to work with AmeriCorps and for the opportunity to bring much needed resources and COVID-19 vaccines to our most at risk in the Stockton area,” said Reinvent Stockton Foundation Director, Nikolas Howard. “Working together with the community and our partners, we continue in our fight to end the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“Community Medical Centers is excited to welcome the AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers, who we know will bolster our efforts to administer the COVID vaccine to as many San Joaquin County residents as we can. The AmeriCorps Seniors will be a key ally in our ongoing work to bring health equity to communities throughout our county,” said Christine Noguera, Community Medical Center CEO.
“HealthForce Partners is excited to support Community Medical Centers, a key partner, in their COVID-19 vaccination efforts with the recruitment of AmeriCorps Seniors RSVP volunteers. The volunteers, deeply rooted within our community, can help bring equitable access to the vaccine and resources to our residents. As a health sector partnership, we look forward to engaging or re-engaging these intergenerational volunteers with the health workforce, especially during a time of need,” said Christina Bastida-Gonzalez, MPH, HealthForce Partners Executive Director.
Today’s announcement builds on 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.
This also builds on the robust infrastructure for national service in Stockton. More than 650 AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps Seniors members serve at 100 sites throughout San Joaquin County this past year through a $4.1 million existing federal investment from the agency. Stockton is also home to a first-of-its-kind program, the Stockton Service Corps. Funded by California Volunteers, the Governor’s state service commission, the Corps placed 100 AmeriCorps fellows in the city with a focus on cradle-to-career outcomes. In 2020, Stockton was also named a pilot city for the Governor Newsom’s Climate Action Corps.
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. For the past year and half, 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.