The Board of Mission has concentrated its activities on food insecurity and encouraging COVID vaccinations during the summer months. Our Second Helping numbers are higher than they were a year ago, and we are continuing to serve meals on a take-out basis. We seem to be seeing more families with children. Our participation in Common Table continues, and Board member Martha Mather represented our church as part of the Common Table display at the Every Body Counts event at the Douglass Center on August 8.
At the encouragement of our own Kendra Kuhlman and the Greater Manhattan Community Foundation, we applied for and received a $2000 grant from the Kansas Beats the Virus initiative to incentivize COVID vaccinations at our Second Helping meal. We advertised that folks receiving the Johnson and Johnson shot would receive gift cards from Walmart at two separate events. The Riley County Health department administered 6 vaccinations on August 8, and 11 vaccinations on August 22, for a total of 17 vaccinations to previously unvaccinated folks. We would have liked more, of course, but that is 17 people who are now protected against the virus who were not previously protected, and that is a good thing!
Thanks to the Riley County Health Department for sending nurses out on a Sunday evening. Thanks also to Second Helping Meal Coordinator Linda Thurston, who provided ice cream bars and lemonade as a further incentive. I would also like to add a heartfelt thank-you to the Mission Board itself. Shari Tedford, Jean Steiner, Mary Ellen Titus, and Carolyn Hodgson represented us in person at the vaccination events, and Martha Mather would have been there had we needed her. Everyone worked hard to publicize the event, as we needed to guarantee at least ten vaccinations for the second event. Thank you!
Gretchen Lewis, PO, Board of Mission