LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - The Eastman Foundation has made a $125,000 donation to CHIRISTUS Good Shepherd to add funding to CHRISTUS’s COVID-19 vaccine hub program.
“This vaccine hub which has been a big success in the community, has been a very expensive endeavor to operate, you look around and see all the staff that’s here and have been here every weekend, they’re volunteering their time but they are all being paid,” said CHRISTUS Good Shepherd CEO Todd Hancock. “So we’ve spent a lot of money over these last several months, and the county donated $250,000 to get us started, but frankly we were sort of getting to the end of the rope on that, so this donation came along at just the right time, so we couldn’t be more grateful for Eastman for donating this money that allows us to continue on.”
Texas Site Manager with Eastman, Andrew Coggins, said the foundation has a goal to donate $1-million to help communities fight the COVID-19 pandemic in area’s where they have facilities. He said it means a lot to be able to give back to the community, given the company’s large presence with around 1,500 employees in the area.
“Personally, it means a lot to be able to contribute this money and I know for employees it means a lot as well,” he said.
Hancock said he was surprised when Eastman approached him for this donation.
“I wasn’t surprised that Eastman has a big heart for these kind of things, but when Andrew called me and said that he had this money available, it was really a relief to us,” he said.
Hancock said CHRISTUS has to date spent around $350,000 on the vaccine hub.
“This money is gonna help continue, not only to cover the cost that we’ve already incurred but help us continue to offer this. It’s getting harder to find folks in the community that want the vaccine so we are gonna do a lot more advertisement, you’ve seen some advertisement in all media outlets, we’re going to continue to do that to convince people that it’s safe, of course the state is opening up the criteria, every day a new category so more people are going to need to be convinced that this is their shot and this is their time,” he said.
Hancock said it costs them about $10 per shot.