If you’ve been vaccinated in Minden or Haliburton, there’s a good chance you were greeted at the door by a volunteer.
The Rotary clubs of Minden and Haliburton were responsible for coordinating hundreds of volunteers who’ve been instrumental in assisting County residents get the jab.
“We wanted to set up a process where we could keep up with what the health unit was asking us to do, and any changes that would be necessary,” said Sally Moore, who co-chaired the Rotary Club of Minden’s volunteer crew with Pat Bradley.
From around the County, 230 people have signed up to welcome patients, recording information and timing recovery periods at Minden’s S.G. Nesbitt Memoria Arena. One hundred and twenty-five volunteers took shifts at the A.J. LaRue Arena in Haliburton.
“It’s an incredible army of people that have so far contributed to this effort in the Highlands,” Moore said.
With ample experience running summer camps and Sunny Rock Bed and Breakfast, organization and planning comes naturally to Moore. She developed a training method for volunteers: each day the clinic is open, Moore emails a task list to a team leader — she’s trained 14. That list is distributed to volunteers based on their skills.
“We didn’t have to train every individual, we just had to hand them a piece of paper,” Moore said.
Twenty-three Rotary members have now worked more than 10 shifts at the Minden arena, exceeding 40 hours of unpaid volunteer work. The club calls these volunteers “community heroes.”
“When I got the call to do the vaccination clinic — I knew it would be no problem at all to host that,” said Minden president Lynda Litwin.
She said Moore has done an excellent job.
“We told her we’d be there for her, help her out as much as we can and knowing full well we are in such a fantastic community of volunteerbased residents,” Litwin said. Keen volunteers at A.J LaRue arena
“The atmosphere was absolutely this place of joy,” said Ursula Devolin, describing the A.J LaRue Arena’s vaccination clinic.
Devolin orchestrated the volunteers at the Haliburton clinic until it was shut down June 12.
“We knew this wasn’t [just] up to the Rotary club,” she said, mentioning how members of the Lions Club, other community groups and other County residents volunteered.
They filled more than 300 shifts at the clinic.
“People were so keen to help,” Devolin said.
Devolin prepared an online document people could use to sign up. When she posted openings for the second vaccination clinic, it filled up within half an hour.
After the Haliburton clinic shut, many volunteers began booking shifts in Minden which is now the only mass vaccination clinic in the County.
“We’re all one County,” Devolin said. “People want to serve, and people are generous at heart.”