EHF leads latest Your Shot Texas effort to increase confidence and access to COVID-19 vaccines, especially for children and teens

Your Shot Texas is investing more than $1.1 million to help community-based organizations increase access to COVID-19 vaccines, battle hesitancy, and make sure communities that have been hit hardest by the virus have an equal shot to get vaccinated. Many of these latest grants are going to groups helping get solid information to parents about the importance of vaccinating children and teens, and then making it convenient for families to get the shots.

This is the third round of grants awarded by the statewide philanthropic effort created by Episcopal Health Foundation in Houston, Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, Inc. in San Antonio, and The Meadows Foundation in Dallas.

Your Shot Texas is a statewide pooled fund providing grant dollars to nonprofit organizations across Texas with existing relationships to priority groups, including people of color and under-resourced rural and urban communities. To date, the fund has raised more than $3.6 million from 22 donors and foundations across the state. The fund is administered by Greater Houston Community Foundation.

With this latest announcement, Your Shot Texas has awarded more than $3 million in funding through 54 grants that are mobilizing a total of 188 community organizations working on vaccine-related projects across the state. So far, those groups have directly reached more than 500,000 Texans in 98 counties with solid information to improve COVID-19 vaccine confidence. Almost 20,000 people have received a first or second dose of the vaccine because of vaccine access efforts by nonprofits supported by Your Shot Texas. Nearly two-thirds (63%) of those vaccinated were people of color and 95% who received vaccines were from low-income families.

“Masks may be gone and big crowds are back, but COVID hasn’t gone away,” said Brian Sasser, Episcopal Health Foundation’s chief communications officer. “When the next COVID variant or wave comes, so many Texans still won’t be protected, including children. Your Shot Texas is proving that when trusted community messengers can battle misinformation, vaccine-hesitant people can change their minds. Plus, when community groups are able to make vaccines available at convenient places and times, more Texans get the shots.”

Your Shot Texas funds supported successful efforts to raise vaccine confidence including:

  • Door-to-door visits
  • Small group discussions where people talk about vaccine fears
  • Outreach events at churches, schools, and pharmacies
  • Phone, text message, and social media campaigns
  • Working with apartment managers to reach tenants

Successful efforts to increase access to vaccinations include:

  • On-site mobile vaccine clinics for farmworkers and other groups
  • Pop-up vaccine sites at parks, church gyms, stores, and more
  • Vaccine events with perks like onsite childcare, food trucks, care packages, and other incentives
  • Free transportation to vaccination centers through coordinated transportation or buses, public transportation tokens, and/or rideshare gift cards
  • Vaccine sites with weekend and evening hours

In this latest round of $1.1 million in funding, Your Shot Texas is awarding grants to 16 organizations and community collaboration efforts across the state are primarily working with parents, children, and older youth. They include innovative projects that are: working in schools and with school districts, creating vaccine programs in Boys and Girls Clubs, adding COVID-19 vaccines to children’s mobile vaccine clinics, utilizing community health workers in rural communities, and much more.

For interviews, connections to grantee groups, and/or more information, contact Brian Sasser at 832-795-9404 or bsasser@episcopalhealth.org.


About Your Shot Texas
:

Your Shot Texas is philanthropy’s collaborative response to raise confidence in COVID-19 vaccines and increase access among priority groups — those most affected by the virus and historically-marginalized populations across the state. The $2.7 million fund was created by Episcopal Health Foundation, Methodist Healthcare Ministries, and The Meadows Foundation. The Your Shot Texas fund is administered by the Greater Houston Community Foundation.

 Other supporting funders include Arnold Ventures, The Cullen Foundation, The Cullen Trust for Health Care, Friends of the Your Shot Texas Fund, Hogg Foundation for Mental Health, Houston Endowment, Carl B. & Florence E. King Foundation, Lyda Hill Philanthropies, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Southwestern Medical Foundation, and St. David’s Foundation.

For more information, visit http://bit.ly/YourShotTexas


Complete List of March 2022 Your Shot Texas grants

Organization Grant Summary Amount
Association for the Advancement of Mexican Americans Leverage relationships with local schools in Harris County to deliver educational information to help adolescents and their parents overcome vaccine hesitancy and extend invitations to vaccination clinics. Will produce a video to be shown to George I. Sanchez Charter School students with two food distribution days in the final weeks of school at each of the Sanchez Charter School campuses simultaneous with hosting vaccine sites in gymnasiums. $45,000
Brazoria County Dream Center, Inc. Will educate about the importance of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, remove the myths of the COVID-19 vaccine, and increase the accessibility to the vaccine. Will partner with other community-based organizations in the Brazoria County area and vaccine providers to distribute accurate information on the COVID-19 vaccine and access to the vaccine through on-site vaccinations. $40,000
Community Family Centers Will use existing community health worker (CHW) certification classes and an existing program of care coordination to increase vaccination rates in Houston’s East End. CHWs will also address hesitation and host local events in partnership with Harris County Health Department vaccine suppliers to address access. $30,000
East Texas Immigrant Advocacy and Resource Center To continue outreach to low-income immigrants and people of color throughout East Texas, presenting them the facts and myths associated with COVID-19. Will offer immediate vaccine access, offering all available COVID vaccines, second shots and boosters. All ages will be included as recommended by the CDC; ages 5 and upward. $30,000
Houston: reVision Houston reVision seeks to expand its successful campaign to reduce vaccine hesitancy and increase vaccination rates among youth in Southwest Houston. reVision’s Community Outreach Workers’ efforts have resulted in over 200 youth being vaccinated so far. Want to reach more families, and get more youth vaccinated and boosted, particularly youth ages 5-12. This work has helped establish a health and wellness outreach program that will be ongoing beyond the COVID pandemic. $45,000
Mi Familia Vota Education Fund MFVEF will continue vaccine confidence and access work in priority zip codes in Dallas County. Will expand upon partnerships with local schools and city officials to target children under the age of 17. Efforts will consist of canvassing and lit dropping areas close to MFVEF vaccine events as well as hosting small to medium size vaccine clinics (40-100 vaccines distributed per clinic). $40,000
Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Houston/Galveston Inc. Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Houston/Galveston, in partnership with Texas Children’s Hospital (TCH), brings healthcare within reach of children throughout the community with the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile (RMCM) program.  The medical unit travels to neighborhoods to reach uninsured and underinsured children close to home, offering free, quality healthcare.  TCH partners will bring mobile vaccination clinics into the neighborhoods most in need. $25,000
Collaborative Groups
Abounding Prosperity, Inc. Increase knowledge and awareness of and access to COVID-19 vaccines in Dallas, Denton, Harrison, Navarro, and Smith counties, particularly among populations disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, including Black and Indigenous Populations of Color, with a focus on LGBTQ+ populations. Funds will support hiring and training influences to share message among social networks to increase vaccine confidence and to support outreach, education, and navigation to increase access to vaccinations $70,000
Bexar County Community Health Collaborative Address vaccine confidence and access for vulnerable populations who are often hard to reach and have challenges accessing services. This includes populations ages 5-17 and those who live in rural areas. Funds will be used to coordinate/implement strategies in Atascosa, Bexar, Comal, Guadalupe, and Medina counties for vulnerable populations to become vaccinated by using evidence-based strategies implemented by qualified vaccine providers such as: providing incentives, mobile pop-up and drive-thru clinics, in-home vaccination, transportation assistance, pre- and post-clinic outreach, and collaborating with trusted messengers. $100,000
Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Houston Expand a full-scale, uptake outreach plan to focus on youth 6-17 years old, low-income, and people of color to increase awareness and knowledge of the importance of getting COVID vaccinations through: in person conversations and information distribution as youth are dropped off/picked up at their 23 club locations; weekly wellness calls, text messages and/or emails to club youth and families; and partnering with vaccine providers to provide vaccinations on-site at their clubs. $115,000
Eikon Church Have developed relationships with 6 area school districts and area charter schools in Bastrop, Caldwell, Guadalupe, and Hays counties that have allowed them to target kids and youth under 18 for vaccination. To continue raising vaccination rates, Eikon will use funds to cover clinic expenses, provide incentives, pay staff, and offer stipends to volunteers. $115,000
El Buen Samaritano Episcopal Mission El Buen Samaritano Episcopal Mission (El Buen), a community-based non-profit organization serving Latino and immigrant communities in Central Texas (Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, Travis, and Williamson counties), proposes to continue to increase COVID-19 vaccination opportunities to clients. El Buen will reduce vaccination disparities within Central Texas Latino and immigrant communities using our cohort (from Round 2 funding) of partner organizations working together to: 1) increase the number of individuals that are vaccinated, and 2) increase knowledge about vaccines and vaccine readiness. El Buen will, amongst other things, continue to facilitate training for community health workers and other health navigators, 1-on-1 weekly conversations through programs, a peer-to-peer system of trusted influential individuals who inform and connect others to COVID-19 vaccine information and providers, and conduct vaccine events with collaborative partners. $75,000
Gulf Coast Leadership Council Gulf Coast Leadership Council seeks to work with Southeast Texas Faith and Community Leaders to increase the vaccination rates of low-income, minority and immigrant children in Southeast Texas. This group of experienced community and congregation leaders will collaborate with Beaumont and Port Arthur ISD’s and work through the Region V Service Center to reach out to all school districts in Jefferson, Hardin, Orange, Jasper and Newton Counties to provide vaccine education and incentives to increase confidence and access. $50,000
Hope Disaster Recovery and TXCDR Will work with neighborhood organizations and churches who have an established relationship with residents. Educational material will be distributed in clients’ language of choice and within the context of their culture by working closely with local entities providing resources, coordination, communication, training, and convenient vaccination events. Will collaborate with partners to design an execute a plan that will work for each community and schedule a vaccination event at an optimal location and time. $115,000
Houston in Action Provide a coordinated response to ensure equitable vaccine implementation for communities with highest instances of COVID-19 infection and lowest instance of COVID -19 vaccination in the Harris County region, especially children and youth 5-17 and the families and communities that care for them. Funds will be used for coordination, community outreach and education. $120,000
TogetherAustin Funds will be used to increase vaccine access, education and outreach and decrease hesitancy primarily in Travis, Williamson and Hays Counties but also across Texas, with a primary focus on increasing vaccine confidence and vaccination rates for the 5-17 age group. TogetherAustin will be addressing community needs with a plan to order vaccine education books in multiple languages, including Braille, through partnerships with Language Lizard Publishing and community organizations. Have built strong relationships with school districts, local businesses, and community leaders. Will host vaccine hubs and multiple schools offering multiple locations and convenient times for COVID-19 vaccinations. $120,000
TOTAL $1,135,000