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Meet Dollie, the 71-year-old offering rides to get the COVID vaccine

Dollie Wilson isn't your average 71-year-old. For many slowing down is a part of getting older, but Wilson isn't planning on doing that any time soon.

MCGEHEE, Ark. — For most 71-year-olds, slowing down is a part of getting older.

Dollie Wilson on the other hand, isn't planning on doing that any time soon.

"It's a drive that, just like, almost I can't control myself," Wilson said. "I have heard other ladies, senior citizens: 'Girl, what you doing now?'"

Wilson, a retired health department worker, picked up a new hobby that's a little different than her peers. 

She's staying active and advocating for something that she finds pretty important. Making sure those around her stay safe and get their COVID-19 vaccine.

"What we focusing on, who can we impress, or who can we give that compassion and positivity to that they might say, 'okay, let me go and get this,'" Wilson said. "For whatever reason they get it, that's good."

Wilson goes door-to-door in McGehee, asking people to get their shot.

If they say they've gotten their shot, she asks them to ask others to do the same.

If they say no, she gives them a pamphlet with information on the vaccine and heads to the next house.

But if they say they haven't gotten the vaccine and want to get it, she asks them a simple question – want to go right now? 

Thursday saw two more people added to the dozens she's already gotten to go.

"I maybe got up to 40 with me that have actually gotten the shot," she said. "I just know that somethings got to be done, and if everybody can play a little part in going and getting their shots and getting somebody the shot, the problem may not go away, but it may not be so devastating."

It's not easy to maintain the pace she's going, but Wilson is persistent. Her goal is 100 vaccinations by the end of August.

"Yeah, it's a sacrifice, it's a little trouble," she said. "But as John Lewis said, 'let it be good trouble', you know?"

She even thought of offering rewards for those who go with her to receive the shot. Wilson called the health department to ask for money for t-shirts that she could give out, but instead they offered to pay her to do this as a job.

"I said I don't want to get paid for doing what I'm doing, because this is something necessary that needs to be done," she said.

But money isn't what's important to Dollie Wilson – those around her are.

While she may not be doing what your average 71-year-old is doing, she said that's ok. She'll keep doing what she's doing, and she has a message for those who say no.

"If everybody all over the state of Arkansas, then it moves on, because this is a worldwide thing," she said, crying. "If everybody would just try. Don't wait until you get a mom or a dad or a child or something to get on ventilators before you say, 'I wish I would've did it.'"

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