By Alex Johnson, President of Rotary Club of Plano West, Texas, USA
From my town of Plano, a suburb of Dallas, Texas, we see the virus devastating lives in India. Last year, COVID-19 affected people overseas, and then took hold in America. We can counter the threat and stay safe by getting people vaccinated.
Most people have access to information on COVID-19 vaccines. But we discovered many minority residents do not. Motivated by a wish to help our fellow citizens, we partnered with our city government to inform this group.
As of late April, 61% of Plano residents 16 years and older had received a COVID-19 vaccine. Of that population, 42% are fully vaccinated, with the rest waiting to receive their second dose.
We hand-out door hangers in apartments and neighborhoods. We’re helping people with language issues. Those with limited internet. Others who don’t have time. Our flyers have Spanish and English vaccine information. We want people to make informed decisions.
increase in vaccinations among the Hispanic population of Plano following the project
Our volunteers go out Saturdays with thousands of door hangers. We’ve had up to 25 people help on a weekend. The city of Plano has measured a 7% increase in vaccinations among the Hispanic population since our project.
Our club is a member of the COVID-19 Community Corps run by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Other clubs can join to receive constant up-to-date information and build vaccine confidence in your community.
Our project is being led by Bruce Mang and Antonio Harris, both college freshmen. In addition to college students, 34% of our members are under 40 years of age. We’ve achieved gender parity with our 64 members and 52% of the Rotary Club of Plano West is nonwhite. According to Rotary International, we’re the fastest growing of the 7,485 clubs in the U.S. We’ve completed over 5 service projects a month with a total impact over 1,600 services hours and more than $265,000 in donated goods this Rotary year. Our membership growth comes from our service. With an array of voices from different backgrounds and age groups, our passion empowers us to serve relentlessly.