On Aug. 14, Plano West Rotary Club (PWRC) wrapped up a five-month-long project to help spread flyers with information about the COVID-19 vaccine to our Spanish-speaking neighbors in Plano.
Lower vaccination rates in this underserved community led staff at the City of Plano to believe that this population was not receiving timely information in their native language, or may not have had access to the internet or other communications. Beginning April 17 and continuing twice a month for a total of 10 Saturdays, club members and non-Rotarian volunteers went out distributing flyers from door to door in neighborhoods and apartment complexes that the City of Plano had identified as having majority Hispanic families. The flyers contained helpful information about COVID-19 and the vaccine in both Spanish and English. Volunteers were not there to persuade people to become vaccinated, only to provide the resources needed to make an informed decision about getting vaccinated and helping curb the spread of the virus. This project was completed in partnership with the City of Plano, with Plano West Rotary leading the efforts to get North Texans educated about the vaccine. By the conclusion of the service project, 40 apartment complexes and three different neighborhoods had been reached, for a total of 6,570 homes to receive the flyers. The flyers donated by the City of Plano were valued at $525, and 340 hours of labor were donated by our volunteers for the betterment of the Plano community. Data provided by the City of Plano shows that in the zip codes our club targeted, vaccination rates continue to increase. Antonio Harris, Bruce Mang and Mehr Hakim were the leaders of this service project, which is remarkable as all three are young college students, while the average Rotarian is middle-aged. PWRC President Alex Johnson believes these youth are learning and applying skills they will use their entire lives by meeting and working with our civic leaders. “I think it’s important for Rotary to provide leadership opportunities for young adults. How many young adults make impactful change in the community from a leadership role?” Alex said. Helping educate citizens on how to reduce the spread of COVID-19 is part of Rotary’s Area of Focus on fighting disease. These efforts go hand-in-hand with Rotary’s decades of work to eradicate polio through vaccination. Though this project has concluded, Rotarians and non-Rotarians are invited to sign up here for future service projects to continue bettering our Plano community.