Church raffles $1,000 to encourage people to get the COVID-19 vaccine

Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Turning Point Church is encouraging people to get vaccinated by raffling off cash.

People who came out to its vaccination clinic Sunday were able to enter for a chance to win $1,000.

“If people aren’t going to be motivated by money, they’re not going to be motivated by anything,” said Ashanti Tate. Ashanti’s husband is the current pastor at Turning Point Church.

“We need people vaccinated yesterday,” said Tate. “We need them vaccinated immediately. I realized that our COVID cases were one of the top in the country. That just didn’t sit well with me.”

However, when the COVID-19 vaccine first came out, the African American community was hesitant to take it.

“Our history. and things that have been done to people of color, a lot of it with them not knowing what was done to them, whether it was giving them medications that they didn’t know about, or withholding medications for treatment,” said Michelle Williams, a registered nurse. “In the ’50s, there was an African American woman that was being treated for cancer, and her cancer cells were taken from her.”

Now, Williams says the apprehension has gone beyond that.

“The hesitancy you see now transcends color, it transcends all races, it transcends economic background, people that are hesitant to get the vaccine can no longer be lumped into a particular category,” said Williams.

Jordan Valley Community Health Center administered the vaccines at the event.

“The vaccine does not make you bulletproof,” said Bob Stephens, coordinator of Mobile Vaccination Unit. ” it certainly is a very good tool for keeping you from being very critically ill, or even going in the hospital or dying from COVID.”

Williams says the vaccines are not just for your protection.

“This pandemic does not touch one person,” said Williams. ” If I’m not taking the vaccine for me, I need to take it for you. Everyone’s talking about their own freedoms, and what that means, being a hostage to this pandemic is not freedom. And with freedom comes responsibility. And we have to be responsible for each other because we are a community.”

A total of 22 people received a COVID-19 vaccine at the event.

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