Voluntary Organizations Play Crucial Role in FEMA’s Response to COVID

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As part of a national effort to speed the pace of COVID-19 vaccination campaigns, FEMA is collaborating with other federal agencies, state, local, tribal, territorial, voluntary, faith-based and private sector partners.

These organizations are critical lifelines to communities, providing resources and services that improve communities every day. To date, FEMA and our partners have identified, scheduled, coordinated and monitored 2,907 clinical and non-clinical volunteers as they facilitated more than 300,000 vaccinations throughout the nation.

Here are just a few ways that our partners have helped with COVID-19 response efforts.

Team Rubicon

FEMA partnered with Team Rubicon, a veteran-led global disaster response organization, to deploy volunteer teams to communities in need across the country. Team Rubicon focused on equity and ensuring vaccine access for the country’s most vulnerable, underrepresented populations. They worked alongside FEMA to launch mobile vaccine operations in Nevada and Colorado. They also supported FEMA-run vaccination sites in Philadelphia, Portland, Chicago and Norfolk, Virginia.

Team Rubicon assisting vaccination efforts in the Navajo Nation.

Team Rubicon assisting vaccination efforts in the Navajo Nation.

Focus Humanitarian Assistance USA

Focus USA volunteers help with vaccination efforts.

FOCUS USA in partnership with the Shia Imami Ismaili Council for the United States worked with FEMA and local public health offices to assist and expedite vaccinations in Texas, California, Illinois, Georgia and Washington. Vaccination sites ranging from motor speedway stadiums to mobile clinics required both medical and non-medical volunteer support.

Woman administers vaccine.

Focus Humanitarian USA clinical volunteer supporting drive-thru vaccination site in Texas.


Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS)

Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha is a Hindu denomination that is active in over 20 countries across five continents. To assist FEMA’s efforts, this organization sent 70 volunteers to Las Vegas. Their efforts have also resulted in the donation of 175,000 of Personal Protective Equipment, over 90,000 meals and food packages and over $200,000 for health care and community support.

Volunteer checks someone’s temperature at a vaccination site.

Islamic Relief USA

Volunteers help run a vaccination site.

The partnership with Islamic Relief USA began in March with FEMA’s pop-up clinics in Pueblo, Colorado. Strategic sites were set up to help vaccinate residents who are most in need and are unable to come to mass vaccination sites. They are also assisting at NRG Stadium in Houston, which is serving as a mass vaccination site.

Non-clinical volunteers provide support.

Islamic Relief USA non-clinical volunteers providing support in Pueblo, Colorado.

Buddhist Tzu Chi

Since December 2020, Tzu Chi has hosted more than 100 COVID-19 Mobile Clinics to provide vaccination services. This service reached more than 12,000 people of color. This effort continues to reach out to the communities in need during the back-to-school stage and to assist the children to receive the vaccination. Additionally, Tzu Chi USA has provided multiple hospitals and medical centers with donations of $6 million dollars of essential personal protective equipment.

Clinical volunteers support vaccination efforts.

 Buddhist Tzu Chi clinical volunteers supporting COVID-19 vaccination mission in Walnut, California.

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