Successful and equitable deployment of the COVID-19 vaccine is the most hopeful path to economic recovery, educational re-engagement, and re-emergence of cultural life in Central Texas. From vaccine clinics in church parking lots to high school cafeterias, we are proud to be a part of the coordinated effort to save lives in Central Texas. In collaboration with Austin Community Foundation and St. David’s Foundation, we awarded $415,000 in funding to 19 community-based organizations. These grants will support COVID-19 vaccine confidence and equitable access among Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) and other groups that have suffered disproportionately the adverse health and economic impacts from the pandemic.
“Vaccines save lives,” said Stephanie Cerda, Vaccine Equity Program Manager at United Way for Greater Austin. “People of color and people with low income have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, and these same communities now face challenges in accessing the vaccine due to barriers like language, technology, transportation, and more. We’re honored to partner with 19 community-based organizations to improve vaccine access, provide culturally relevant outreach to address hesitancy, and get our community closer to herd immunity.”
Organizations receiving grants have deep connections in the community and a plan for increasing vaccination rates for underserved, unserved, disconnected, and rural populations in Central Texas counties (Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis, and Williamson).
Congratulations to the grantees!
Learn more about the grantees here.
“This work is very reliant on trust and building relationships,” said Cerda. “I know from my background as an educator, the first thing you do when you’re trying to inform someone, you build a relationship with them. So that’s why we are working with community grassroots organizations because they have deservingly earned the trust of the community since the beginning of the pandemic.”
But it’s going to take more than just the work of these community-based organizations to save lives. We all can play a part in making vaccines more accessible to everyone. Talk to your loved ones about the vaccine, offer to drive a neighbor to their vaccine appointment – we really can do this all together.
Anyone can help save lives in Central Texas. Will you join us?
Volunteer with us to increase COVID-19 vaccine rates in our community. Sign up here.