May 20, 2021
What started as an effort to help her grandmother get a COVID vaccine turned into a community wide program to assist hundreds in Emerson.
“After I was successful in booking hers, I decided to reach out to others on Facebook and offer my assistance,” Jenn Volosin said.
The Emerson resident and former student at Patrick M. Villano School is one of a handful of people who earned the nickname “vaccine angel” for helping others get a COVID vaccine appointment. She and the local vaccine team helped teachers in the Emerson Public School District, too.
“Once the three of us agreed to work together for the teachers, we made a Google Form and asked the Emerson Superintendent if this was at all possible, and then our Google Form was emailed out to the Emerson School District,” explained Volosin.
Principal Jessica Espinoza of Patrick M. Villano School said she always felt that Emerson is a special community.
¨I felt great knowing that our Emerson teachers and staff would be able to take the stress of finding an appointment for a vaccine off our plates by asking the vaccine angels for help,” Espinoza said. “Their service to our teachers and community was truly a gift.”
As a group, the “vaccine angles” successfully made more than 200 appointments.
“This selfless act shows how members of our community continue to donate their time and talents to help others in any way they can. I consider myself lucky to work in such a special place,¨ Espinoza said.
Since February, Volosin said she has made 510 vaccine appointments on her own. She described the process as “very exhausting”.
“We usually have been successful making appointments when they get released at midnight from various sites. We also have had a ton of success making appointments between 4-6 p.m. when other various sites release appointments,” she explained.
Volosin said it makes her feel happy to help. Some people spend hours – even days – trying to get a vaccine appointment on their own.
“It makes me hopeful knowing that there are so many who want to get vaccinated. This will help us get back to some sort of ‘normal’ and it truly makes me feel happy that I am able to do something good for others,” Volosin said.
The efforts of the vaccine team in Emerson caught the attention of local news stations.
“Right now we are still working on getting appointments,” Volosin said. “We have started getting 16-year-olds vaccine appointments since they have just become eligible. Our goal is to get whoever vaccinated that wants it.”