MEET COVID ANGEL BRIANNA TAGLIAMONTE
Lifelong Greenburgh resident Brianna Tagliamonte (23) has been volunteering as a Covid Angel for only three weeks and has already helped over 100 people find vaccine appointments! She is currently finishing up her MBA in Healthcare Management from Iona College this spring and is looking forward to searching for a job post-graduation in the business or healthcare industry. Brianna is hopefully going to continue her education further by applying to professional degree programs. Brianna has always enjoyed giving back to others but was struggling with finding a way to do so virtually given the current circumstances. She was so grateful to have heard about this opportunity while waiting on line to receive her second vaccine at the Westchester County Center. She said, “It is truly warming to know that 100 more people will go to sleep having piece of mind that they are getting vaccinated soon. Covid Angels has connected me with so many amazing individuals and I love hearing their stories. The excitement and tears of joy I hear on the phone when I tell someone they have an appointment is always so humbling and pushes me to continue refreshing. I was fortunate to receive my vaccine early on because I am a healthcare worker and want to help as many people as possible have this same opportunity.”
Brianna’s advice to those still looking for vaccine appointments is to be persistent. Even though it may appear that there are no appointments at the vaccine site available, click on the page for the vaccine site you are interested in and continue refreshing it for a few minutes. Eventually, an appointment will pop up! Instead of clicking the refresh icon at the top of the screen with your mouse, try using the “Control + R” keys on Windows or “Command + R” keys on a Mac instead. This saves time because you do not have to move your mouse across the page when an appointment pops up. If a large amount of appointments open up, don’t try to grab the one at the top of the page. You have a better chance by scrolling down to the third or fourth appointment on the list and trying for that one since everyone’s instinct is to click on the first appointment they see. Best of luck!
MEET COVID ANGEL FRIDA MATUTE
Our Covid Angels program leader told us you were looking for some background on the people volunteering in the group. So I thought to share a little about myself since I am new here in Westchester (Hastings on Hudson) and would like to be better connected to my community because, let’s face it, meeting people in a new town during Covid is impossible!
My name is Frida Matute and I am a medical pediatric speech-language pathologist. I have been practicing for over 10 years in medical (NYU Langone, HJD and Bellevue) and private settings (Indy Speech Services). I now run my private practice and my educational kid’s class company called The Indy Lab. Because of my profession, I have always been intimately acquainted with healthcare workers on all fronts. During the pandemic, I felt a very strong need to support my colleagues in their efforts especially as a private practitioner who had the opportunity and privilege to work remotely while everyone else continued to see Covid positive patients in acute settings. My way of showing support and love was to first set up a Go Fund Me for my therapy colleagues at NYU Langone with two other coworkers. We raised over $4,000 in 2 days and sent over 150 people meals (link: https://www.gofundme.com/f/hotmealsfornyurehab?sharetype=teams&member=4175008&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook&utm_campaign=p_na+share-sheet&rcid=b390113f4f3a4a73a2b4f2b8662815ef&fbclid=IwAR1vY_LSaoW5OLL85AQGqPj2SzlEXl2rCSMQdPqFSq5VxFXnJ76wb8DsgHE). After I got my first Covid shot, I felt compelled to help and really be there for the action. I wanted to help in a significant way and see people’s faces when they finally got that shot. It meant the world to me to support people who needed it, much like I would have in that acute setting in the hospital where I no longer worked. So I started calling seniors to set up their appointments and then went to the pop up Rite Aide vaccination site to volunteer last Saturday. It was a tiring day, but an amazing and satisfying way to get us all back to safety. I can’t wait to do it again.
Thank you for your support!
MEET COVID ANGEL JENNIFER LYNCH
Hello Mr. Feiner,
I would like to thank you for spearheading this amazing initiative! I am honored to be an “angel” and have the opportunity to help so many people. I’m a nurse and I work in nyc. We were absolutely crushed last spring when the pandemic hit. My own grandmother lives with me and it was extremely difficult going to work at the hospital and worrying that I would bring this virus into my home. I knew the vaccine would be so important, especially for her and I stayed up all night the night appointments opened at the county center. I was able to get her an appointment for the very first day the county center opened for vaccinations. When I took her to the appointment I could not believe how few seniors were in line. It occurred to me in that moment that elderly people who are most in need of getting this vaccine are going to be left behind unless they have someone with technological savvy to help them. I started offering to make appointments for my grandmothers friends, my friends parents and others. When I saw Anne Hohn’s Facebook post asking for volunteers I didn’t hesitate to join! I am in awe of the dedication and kindness of my teammates. It honestly renews my faith in humanity to be a member of this group. This initiative is literally saving lives and I’m so proud to be a part of it!
Sincerely, Jennifer Lynch
MEET COVID ANGEL REGINA NG
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I grew up in and work in Westchester. My mom is a senior and lives with my family (she happens to be a retiree from the Greenburgh school district). In my job, I’m also exposed to a ton of new technology. I see first-hand how challenging it can be to navigate our environment, increasingly in even simple day-to-day interactions, that caters to the technologically inclined.
Volunteering with Covid Angels was a really easy and safe way to continue to help others in the community, especially while trying to limit exposure risk in my own household. It’s of course extremely rewarding to hear the sheer relief and gratitude of those we’ve reached out to and assisted, some of whom may very well not have been able to receive the vaccine otherwise. The initiative also gave a feeling of fighting back against this virus in a meaningful way. Who knows, at a minimum, getting more people vaccinated hopefully helps us all stay safer and gets us “back to normal” and at best, perhaps truly does help to save some lives! Finally, I’ll add this has been one of the most well-run and organized volunteer committees I’ve experienced, and I appreciate the time and commitment of all those leading the charge.
MEET COVID ANGEL Viviana A. Manzanares <
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Dear Supervisor Feiner:
My name is Viviana Manzanares, one of the Covid Angel volunteers.
During the pandemic I felt compelled to help others, especially seniors citizens of Westchester County. I came across your COVID Angels initiative on a local news outlet and I thought it was a wonderful way to give back and serve those who need us the most.
The seniors in our community have always given so much of themselves and they need our help sometimes.
The many seniors that I spoke with and assisted in making vaccinations appointments for, were always so grateful for the assistance. Sometimes during our conversations you could hear the relief and gratitude in their voices. Many asked to help either a another senior family member or a senior neighbor or friend that they knew needed assistance making an appointment or for those Spanish seeking seniors.
A little about me, I currently live in Montrose, NY with my two teenage children. I became a US Citizen in 2006 after immigrating from Uruguay at the age of 19. I have made voluntarism a integral part of my life, I am Montrose Fire Department member, I volunteered for the Montrose Business Association, provided food and other essentials to the Caring for the Hungry and Homeless in Peekskill.
I’m so grateful to be able to participate in this great service. I look forward to helping many more seniors.
Thank you for this initiative.
MEET COVID ANGEL Carol Gladstone
why you have chosen to become an Angel: I live with a technophobe! In 1978 my husband typed a file into the computer and lost it. He declared, “That’s it! I’m done.” That’s why I typed his doctoral dissertation. I also taught three online graduate school classes at Mercy College, so in addition to helping my husband get information on the internet, I understood there were other people who avoided computers and I could help.
how you feel about participating in the initiative: I like helping others. I am a retired educator who taught at every level for 58 years. Getting members of our community not only helps those who do not have a computer or feel inadequate in navigating the websites, it saves lives. I can think of no better way to spend a few hours.