BCHD Honors Volunteers for Service During PandemicJul 24, 2021 01:59PM ● By Jeanne Fratello
The Beach Cities Health District thanked its volunteers on Saturday for their service to the community during the pandemic, with more than 24,000 total volunteer hours logged since March 2020.
"This past year was unprecedented. We could not have expected COVID-19 to dramatically change our lives for so long. When our community needed support to get us through this time, you were there," said BCHD CEO Tom Bakaly at a celebration honoring volunteers at AdventurePlex in Manhattan Beach. "You stepped forward and served others, calming their fears and supporting their health and well being. You helped the beach cities not only cope, but thrive through the pandemic."
All told, more than 500 volunteers pitched in to assist BCHD with community service in the beach cities of Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, and Hermosa Beach (and beyond) throughout the pandemic.
BCHD and community volunteer accomplishments include:
- 155,684 COVID-19 tests completed at the BCHD testing site over 401 days;
- 15,590 doses of the Pfizer vaccine delivered to South Bay educators and students, including more than 5,000 doses for educators and more than 6,000 doses for 12-18 year olds;
- 3,727 total doses of the Moderna vaccine delivered;
- 4,712 meals delivered to community members in need of home meal delivery;
- 13,281 calls made to community services clients.
Megan Vixie, chief engagement officer at BCHD, told DigMB that the volunteers - some of whom had never worn PPE (personal protective equipment) before - put themselves at front and center during the pandemic and were essential to community outreach efforts.
"They were there during the rainiest of times, in the sunshine - it didn't matter. They just showed up," she said.
BCHD partnered with multiple groups and organizations across the South Bay and greater Los Angeles area. In Manhattan Beach, BCHD partners included elected officials, the Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce and Senior Department, the Manhattan Beach Unified School District, and the Manhattan Beach Fire Department.
BCHD and its volunteers administered the vaccines through the South Bay Consortium for School Vaccines, comprised of 11 public school districts in the South Bay, including Manhattan Beach.
A link to the names of more than 500 individual volunteers can be found here - scroll to the bottom of the page.
At the event, Bakaly told DigMB that the Beach Cities Health District would encourage those who were still hesitant about getting the vaccine to educate themselves as much as possible.
"If they have concerns, they should learn as much as they can about it," he said. "We have lots of information on our web site."
Dr. William Kim, chief medical advisor for the Beach Cities Health District, likewise urged community members to consider getting vaccinated if they haven't already, especially in light of the new Delta variant.
"I just can't say enough about the messenger RNA platform - the technology behind the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines," Kim told DigMB. "It's amazing. In our history of vaccinations, we've never seen anything so effective."
To find a vaccination site near you or make an appointment at vaccination sites, visit www.VaccinateLACounty.com (English) and www.VacunateLosAngeles.com (Spanish) If you don’t have internet access, can’t use a computer, or you’re over 65, you can call 1-833-540-0473 for help finding an appointment, connecting to free transportation to and from a vaccination site, or scheduling a home visit if you are homebound.
Vaccinations are always free and open to eligible residents and workers regardless of immigration status.