FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – February 5, 2021
CONTACT: Jason Walter
PHONE: (843) 260-8358
EMAIL: [email protected]
LOCAL ORGANIZATION NEIGHBOR TO NEIGHBOR LAUNCHES VACCINE MOBILIZATION FOR SENIORS
Myrtle Beach, SC – With the recent announcement that beginning February 8, South Carolina residents over 65, regardless of health status or preexisting conditions, can begin to receive the COVID-19 vaccine (SCDHEC) Neighbor to Neighbor (N2N), an award winning local nonprofit organization serving Horry and Georgetown Counties in South Carolina and Brunswick County in North Carolina, has begun a massive effort to mobilize their network of over 1,300 high-risk volunteers and clients to get vaccinated. N2N serves vulnerable & elderly persons through services like transportation, wellness calls, and pantry deliveries.
From the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, N2N has continued to serve their elderly and at-risk clients, despite obstacles presented by the pandemic. Staff has been closely monitoring CDC guidelines and maintaining a high standard of training & safety for volunteers. N2N client destinations are monitored to ensure destinations chosen by riders are practicing and enforcing PPE, social distancing, and guidelines set forth by the CDC. All of those efforts have been in anticipation of this moment when vaccines would become available to N2N volunteers & clients.
N2N Executive Director Joe Kunkel and his team have been advocating to ensure their volunteers will be included in “Phase 1A” of the COVID-19 vaccination distribution. “Providing transportation access to our clients is and ought to be of the utmost importance in public health. We are working to fulfill client inquiries about access to the COVID-19 vaccine by launching a volunteer effort to provide as many rides as possible.” said Kunkel.
COVID-19 has brought transportation issues faced by our seniors to the forefront. Transportation service requests have increased. The organization has also seen a sharp drop in volunteers as concerns for personal health and safety grew with rising COVID-19 cases. Fewer volunteers (most of whom are retiree age) were able to take the risk of offering clients transportation to and from life sustaining medical appointments and quality of life experiences. In response to the growing risks faced by our volunteer drivers, N2N has pivoted by expanding volunteer opportunities to include virtual and contactless options like their Wellness Calls and Pantry Deliveries.
N2N has an award-winning COVID-19 safety program in place to protect volunteers all while providing a flexible opportunity to serve their community. Their volunteers are able to choose the ‘what, when, and how often’ of their service. N2N Development Director Jason Walter said of the volunteer push, “To make the greatest impact on this community, we need to increase the number of volunteers by 30% with new drivers immediately. We’re asking low-risk individuals and those who’ve already been vaccinated to get behind the wheel for Neighbor to Neighbor. The sooner we can train new volunteers, the more lives we can save – together!”
To learn more about becoming a volunteer driver, head to https://riden2n.org/volunteer/
About Neighbor to Neighbor
Founded in 2005, Neighbor to Neighbor of South Carolina (N2N) is an award-winning organization that works diligently to promote independence and relieve isolation in Horry and Georgetown Counties in South Carolina and Brunswick County in North Carolina. N2N works to make sure our senior and vulnerable neighbors are able to live independently and with dignity through a network of established community resources and programming such as transportation, wellness calls, and pantry deliveries.