Triangle woman talks about volunteering during COVID-19 pandemic

Orange County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Volunteering has always been an important part of Erin Bonasso’s life. 

“Well, I’ve been a volunteer at the hospital for over nine years now. So, within the last year they have pumped the brakes and we can’t be on the floors with the patients and inside the [UNC] hospital,” she said. 

When the opportunity came up to volunteer at UNC’s largest vaccine clinic, the Friday Center, Bonasso didn’t hesitate to sign up. 

“They called. They emailed. It was all hands-on deck as soon as the Friday Center opened,” she said. 

“I worked the first week and most people were so excited and you hear things like, ‘this is one step closer to seeing my grandkids. I haven’t seen my grandkids in 10 to 11 months’,” Bonasso said. 

Bonasso said she helps out at least once a week. She assists with everything from patient check-ins to helping people to get to the vaccine location and also taking people to the observation room once they get the vaccine. 

She said it’s been a fun, but emotional experience. 

Bonasso said she can’t help but to think about, Papi, her grandfather in-law who passed away Dec. 12 from COVID. 

“I see him in a lot of the people that come through the door,” she said. 

“We will definitely miss out on seeing Pap. It’s my way of giving back. I know he would be very proud of all of us,” said Bonasso  

UNC Health said due to the large number of people who want to be volunteers, they have started a wait list.  

Anyone who is interested in being put on the waiting list can email volsvcs@unchealth.unc.edu.  You can also click here, for more information. 

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