OPINION: Thank you, Tigard CERT volunteers
A few weeks ago, I received a wonderful email from a volunteer with Tigard's Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) organization wondering if there was some small way the city could acknowledge her fellow volunteer members for the dedicated service given to the community over the last 14 months of the COVID-19 pandemic.
To every member of Tigard CERT, I humbly offer the Tigard City Council's appreciation and respect for your dedicated service. At no time has it been more critical for community members to come together and look after one another.
Tigard CERT volunteers have answered every call for assistance and our community recognizes and appreciates the noble service you have provided.
Every adult and youth member of our volunteer cadre is appreciated. The City of Tigard has benefited greatly from the tremendous support our volunteers provide freely and with a generous heart. Whether they're lending their skills and dedication to an event, sanitizing and shelving books at the library amid strict safety precautions, delivering meals and food boxes to hungry families or planting trees in our parks and open space, we are a better community because of their contributions.
In 2020, Tigard CERT members contributed more than 1,500 hours of service in a wide variety of ways.
At the beginning of the pandemic, Tigard CERT members professionally operated the Emergency Operations Center's call center for three months. In the face of incredible need, CERT volunteers made, collected and distributed over 2,000 cloth face coverings to frontline city staff, activated CERT members, and Tigard Giving Partners. They also held four (4) Personal Protective Equipment distribution events on behalf of the city for small businesses in our community.
As the community faced unimaginable challenges due to loss of employment and income, Tigard CERT volunteers held two large food and essential needs drives, collecting enough supplies to generously restock the food pantries at seven Tigard Giving Partners.
With the nation's vaccine supply on the rise, CERT volunteers supported their first vaccine clinic with Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue in January and currently support three vaccine clinics a week with TVF&R, as well as supporting Washington County clinics in Tigard for underserved residents. This past week, Tigard CERT volunteers supported their 41st vaccination clinic, with more to come.
As we transition to on-site activities, Tigard CERT volunteers have already answered the call. They've prepared and placed eight CERT members on stand-by to act as municipal court greeters when in-person court returns.
Tigard CERT members: Thank you. You are admired and appreciated by Tigard residents, City Council, city staff and partner agencies for serving our community.
Jason Snider is mayor of Tigard. He has himself been a community volunteer since 2000.
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