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DES MOINES, Iowa  —  On Saturday, the sun’s rays seemed to seep through the walls of the Boys and Girls Club of Central Iowa.

“There’s more smiles on people’s faces right now they’re seeing a little bit of light at the end of the end of the tunnel,” Drake University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Associate Professor Nora Stelter said.

More than a thousand educators and Boys and Girls Club staff receiving their second COVID-19 vaccination.

“It’s actually making me feel a lot more protective and being more supportive of the kids and actually pushing more of my staff and other family members to know that they should get the vaccination to keep everybody safe,” Boys and Girls Club of Central Iowa Unit Director Kristina Cox said.

As many students are back to 100 percent in-person learning and the Boys and Girls Club is back to after-school programming.

“There’s some voids in our community have access to childcare anyway and then, coupled with a pandemic it really was a hurdle for people that worked in the hospital or the fire department or just needed to be you know working each day. And so, us being able to provide that resource and provide care for their kids so they could do those jobs to keep the community going, which was important,” Boys and Girls Club of Central Iowa CEO Tony Timm said.

With every shot, pharmacists from Drake University and Hy-Vee are injecting rays of hope into the community.

“So, as people are waiting here for their 15 minutes after receiving their vaccine. We asked them to write on a sticky note what are you hopeful for the future. The responses that we’re getting are all across the board and they all just bring a tear to your eye,” Stelter said.

“Looking forward to hugging my mom,” “grilling with friends,” “less anxiety,” were written on some notes. Jane Smith, a School Counselor at Rock Creek Elementary wrote, “continued good health.”

“I feel great, I’m so glad that I’m able to do it,” Smith said.

Each organization is hopeful that as more vaccine becomes available, they will be able to set up a large clinic inside the Drake stadium for even more people to receive their shots.