CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WWBT) - Almost a third of the commonwealth has gotten at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, but things got off to a rough start. Now, Virginia State University, the Richmond Raceway and local pharmacies are just some of the places offering vaccines.
Signing up for a shot was a bit of a hurdle for senior citizens early on.
“You hate to think about people stressing about not being able to get a vaccine because they can’t get a vaccination appointment,” said Stephen Stepp.
He’s back at home living with his mom and helping to take care of his grandmother.
Stepp graduated from George Mason University with a political science degree in December of 2019 - right before the pandemic. When coronavirus took over, he lost his job and career opportunities dried up.
Jo Ann Collins is a member of Chesterfield Baptist Church, where Stephen and his family attend.
“Stephen is just a wonderful young man,” she said. “When they started doing the vaccines Stephen just felt like he was led to help anybody that needed help. He had gotten his grandmother an appointment and he decided, that’s what he could do.”
Stephen decided to be a blessing by registering seniors in the congregation. Some of whom didn’t own or know how to work a computer. Others weren’t able to travel to a mass vaccination clinic, so the local pharmacy was the best bet for a vaccine but that was even harder to come by.
Jo Ann started collecting names.
“We gave him four, the next morning he had those appointments. He said, do you have any more? So I fed him a few more,” said Collins.
“I would get up at 4 in the morning, 5 in the morning, check for appointments for people who needed it at different pharmacies, and sometimes you’re lucky and sometimes it takes a little bit of skill to get them signed up,” said Stepp.
Then things started to branch out. When Stephen would call the seniors to get more information, he got a few special requests.
“Sometimes they would say, my sister, needs an appointment of my neighbor needs an appointment, so he helped people outside of our church as well,” says Collins.
More than 40 seniors are either fully vaccinated or have at least the first shot thanks to Stephen.
That deserved an NBC12 “Acts of Kindness” recognition!
Stephen was rewarded with $300 dollars in cash and $50 dollars to Mexico Restaurant.
A special moment, for a young man who believes the real payoff is getting past the pandemic.
“Everyone out there who can get the vaccine, should. Just keep safe, keep your distance and wear your mask.”
And if you’re an employer looking for a problem solver give him a call.
“Things are getting a little bit better so hopefully there’s something out there soon. Something to help people out who really need it, using my background in a nonprofit or something like that,” said Stephen.
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