Churches are asked to help with COVID-19 vaccination effort

Churches are being asked to help support COVID-19 vaccination efforts across the United States. A COVID-19 Community Corps has been launched, inviting churches among other community groups to help build vaccine confidence in their communities. Also, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is collecting a list of churches and other community organizations that can help support the national vaccination effort.

In addition, federal assistance is now available to help pay costs of funerals for certain COVID-19 related deaths in the US. For more information about the guidelines for this assistance, go to www.fema.gov/disasters/coronavirus/economic/funeral-assistance. To request this assistance, call the COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Line at 844-684-6333 (TTY: 800-462-7585). Hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Central Time).

A screenshot from the launch of the COVID-19 Community Corps. The Zoom meeting of faith-based and humanitarian organizations was led by Vice President Kamala Harris (top left). Shown at Harris’s right is Nathan Hosler, director of the Office of Peacebuilding and Policy, who attended on behalf of the Church of the Brethren. He reported that the webinar was held with about 150 participants.

COVID-19 Community Corps

A release about the COVID-19 Community Corps from the National Council of Churches said that churches as well as other nonprofits, medical providers, and individual such as educators are invited to participate and get resources to help build vaccine confidence in their communities. The effort is aimed at ending the COVID-19 pandemic in the US by encouraging the American population to choose to get fully vaccinated, “and encouraging the people in your life to do the same,” said the release.

Those who join the COVID-19 Community Corps will have access to a number of resources including:
— fact sheets on vaccine safety, tips on how to talk with friends and family about the importance of vaccination, and hints for planning and attending community events;
— social media content to share with followers; and
— regular email updates with the latest vaccine news and resources to share.

For more about the COVID-19 Community Corps and to find related resources go to https://wecandothis.hhs.gov/covidcommunitycorps.

FEMA invitation to churches

In addition, FEMA is seeking churches willing to help with the vaccination effort. Churches may be asked to help provide facilities to host vaccination clinics, identify health professionals to volunteer with vaccinations, provide meals for volunteers and other workers at vaccination clinics, provide transportation and other support to help get people to vaccination appointments, and increase vaccination messaging within congregations and their communities.

Send your response to Partnerships@fema.dhs.gov to be added to the list as a possible resource for vaccine distribution.

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