NAACP President Butler

NAACP President Edward J. Butler (left) helps promote COVID-19 vaccinations in Danville neighborhoods.

Danville’s NAACP is hosting wellness fairs and cookouts throughout Vermilion County to promote COVID-19 vaccinations.

The first of the NAACP’s fairs was held in Hoopeston on Wednesday, and on Thursday, NAACP health care practitioners will go to Antioch Baptist Church, 311 N. Collett St., in Danville from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

From 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on May 18, they’ll host a fair and vaccination clinic in Georgetown at 407 E. Kennedy Drive.

Each fair will be held, rain or shine, free of charge and with no reservation required.

NAACP President Edward J. Butler coordinated a partnership among the NAACP, the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Health Navigator Program of Vermilion County.

“We’re all working together to go directly to the people of Danville and Vermilion County to encourage them to save their lives and the lives of their loved ones by getting vaccinated against COVID-19.”

The NAACP in Danville recently earned statewide recognition for its efforts to boost vaccinations in Vermilion County. The Illinois Public Health Association will honor the NAACP for its Health Navigator Program during the Community Health Worker Summit in Springfield on May 19.

The Public Health Association’s recognition committee voted unanimously to confer the “Community Health Worker Employer” award to the Danville NAACP for “dedication and hard work throughout the difficult times we have been experiencing.”

For more than two years, Danville’s Health Navigator Program manager Mary Ann McCullough has led a staff of six navigators from door-to-door throughout the City of Danville and Vermilion County.

“Mary Ann and her navigators aren’t resting in their mission to spread the good news that there are vaccines available to you that can save your life and the lives of your loved ones against this scourge called COVID-19,” Butler said.

The Danville Health Navigators have been in action since the start of the pandemic and have made connections with more than 4,000 local residents throughout the first six months of the program.

Between January and April of this year, the navigators have met with 2,000 individuals and have relied on state and county funding to provide free health care services like vaccinations and COVID-19 testing, as well as social services like food, access to shelter and transportation.

In the recognition letter sent to the NAACP, the Public Health Association praised the Danville Health Navigators for “combating COVID-19 in communities some people would not dare to walk into, to help the people that not many would during a time such as this. This team has done outreach and vaccination clinics and has collaborated with county boards and school boards to raise the public’s awareness about how to survive through a pandemic. They richly deserve to be recognized for their efforts.”

For more information about the Health Navigator Program, call 224-661-0931.

Danville’s Branch 3009 of the NAACP is located on 703 N. Kimball St. in Danville, and is committed to equity and social justice.

The NAACP welcomes anyone who shares this mission. To become a member, call President Butler at 217-920-2825.

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