Although data published by Harris County Public Health for Harris County and the City of Houston shows that cases of COVID-19 and hospitalizations are low, I am advocating that people of all ages continue to stay informed about the challenges this virus can create for them and their loved ones. I am also advocating for vaccinations and boosters, especially for uninsured members of at-risk communities in and around Houston.
Leaders of faith-based homes are in a strong position to provide care for their members on a spiritual level as well as a physical level. Houses of worship, especially those based in at-risk communities in Greater Houston, are also well-positioned to host pop-up vaccination clinics and to encourage their members, family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, schools, and businesses to participate. The church with which I am affiliated, St. Andrews United Methodist Church has partnered in recent months with Harris County Public Health and The Institute for Spirituality and Health to provide COVID-19 vaccinations and booster shots for adults and children. I am asking that other churches, temples, and synagogues consider doing the same!
Our small church is located at 6235 Maybell Street in Houston (77091). We have a congregation of about 100 members. These pop-up clinics have been very well received, with about 85 to 100 individuals receiving vaccinations for COVID-19 and the flu. We provided $25 gift cards as an incentive funded by the FaithHealth Vaccine Initiative at the Institute for Spirituality and Health. We have also ensured those who wanted a vaccine or booster that they did not need to show proof of insurance. We received very positive feedback from congregation members who expressed gratitude for the ease of access to these public health resources.
For others who want to host a free vaccine clinic or speaker event, the Institute for Spirituality and Healths’ FaithHealth Vaccine Initiative is ready and able to provide information and licensed health professionals who are qualified to administer all COVID-19 and Flu Vaccines. For more information please visit www.faithandvaccines.org or call (713) 797-0600 EXT. 5 to speak with Mojisola Delano, ISH FaithHealth project coordinator.
As one who has been infected with COVID-19 four times, and as one who is diligent about being regularly vaccinated and boosted, I offer these recommendations:
Don’t be afraid of the vaccine or booster. Being vaccinated and boosted will help those who test positive for COVID-19 experience fewer adverse health effects.
Take care of yourself. Self-care and good nutrition boost your body’s ability to fight infection. Each of us can seek to enhance our immune system through nutrition, sleep, exercise, and mind-body practices. The Institute for Spirituality Health provides FREE mind-body skills group classes every Wednesday. https://www.spiritualityandhealth.org/mindbodygroups
Educate yourself about COVID-19, its risks, symptoms, short-term and long-term impacts. COVID-19 affects everyone differently, and one never knows how this virus will affect them until they actually become sick. We can also reduce our exposure to large groups if we are at risk or are concerned about getting COVID-19.
I believe that healthy communities thrive. I am grateful to St. Andrews United Methodist Church, Harris County Public Health, and the Institute for Spirituality and Health for supporting our congregation and adults and children in our neighborhood by offering free vaccines and boosters. And I am thankful to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control Vaccine Initiative for making this possible.
About Amorita Hudson-Smith
Amorita Hudson-Smith is a community activist who promotes the health and well-being of people of color in Houston. She is also a chaplain and lay minister at St. Andrews United Methodist Church in Houston. Hudson-Smith has been an ambassador with the City of Houston Department of Health for several years. Hudson-Smith previously served as a hospital administrator before her retirement. She can be reached at email@example.com.
October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit www.edwardsforhouston.com
As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.
Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.