NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Members of the group Teens With A Purpose organized a pop-up vaccine event to get more lifesaving shots into their neighbors’ arms as a way to honor their late member.
Wednesday’s vaccine pop-up clinic is only one of a dozen or so examples of the work Schwanda did with her peers from Teens With A Purpose.
They have handed out masks or hosted testing events, among other things, since the start of the pandemic.
The goal is to inspire others to get the shot while carrying on the work Schwanda and her friends started.
Tina House says she was on the fence about getting vaccinated for a while, but learning about Schwanda’s death changed her mind.
“The young lady that passed away, I grew up with her mother and it just touched my heart,” she said.
She came out to a vaccination pop-up clinic at Purpose Park in honor of Schwanda. She said she wanted to protect herself, her loved ones, and gain some of her freedom back.
“I feel great now ’cause I feel like I can do a little bit more than I was normally doing, than just staying in the house, going to the grocery store and the doctor,” she said.
The members of Teens With A Purpose honored Schwanda with a mural.
Michelle Sims, who worked with Schwanda, says she had a beautiful light and was passionate about her community.
“She was a person that she would just jump in and help without you even asking her,” she said. “Although she was quiet, she was a strong young lady. She was just so beautiful.”
The clinic, put together by the group, the Department of Health and the City of Norfolk, carries on the work of Schwanda and her peers who started to help the community at the beginning of the pandemic.
“We want to be ambassadors and advocates, since people know us and people know our organization and they’ve seen our faces in the community,” said Sims. “It’s important for us to be out here promoting this so that they can come and protect themselves and their families.”
Organizers say they hope to hold other vaccine clinics like this one for the community in the future.