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Service + Solidarity Spotlight: Rockford United Labor Volunteers Answer Call for Vaccination Effort

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Working people across the United States have stepped up to help out our friends, neighbors and communities during these trying times. In our regular Service + Solidarity Spotlight series, we’ll showcase one of these stories every day. Here’s today’s story.

A new COVID-19 vaccination site in Winnebago County, Illinois, has the capacity to vaccinate 2,500 people per day. But county officials organizing the program realized they needed help in setting up all those appointments. That’s when Winnebago County Board Chairman Joe Chiarelli put out a call for volunteers to Rockford United Labor President Sara Dorner (AFSCME), and she went to work finding groups to help out. “I reached out to the [American Association of University Women], League of Women Voters, NAACP and a lot of our partners in the community that we’ve worked with on other issues,” Dorner said. Those groups, along with The Salvation Army, Women’s March Rockford and Rockford Today Network, wasted little time signing up. “I’m watching the spots get filled up as I sit with my computer open,” Dorner said. Together, they logged 160 volunteer efforts, inoculating thousands of residents.

This blog originally appeared at AFL-CIO on March 10, 2021. Reprinted with permission.

About the Author: Kenneth Quinnell  is a long-time blogger, campaign staffer and political activist whose writings have appeared on AFL-CIO, Daily Kos, Alternet, the Guardian Online, Media Matters for America, Think Progress, Campaign for America’s Future and elsewhere.


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