‘We miss her’: Organizers of the Puerto Rican Caravan share story of beloved community member lost to Covid

Puerto Rican Day Parade

HARTFORD – “I believe it’s a symbol of love and peace,” says Sydney Schulman, after members of the CICD Puerto Rican Parade Committee gave him a white rose to honor a woman called a lifelong advocate for those in need.

“Just before Thanksgiving, my wife and I both got Covid,” he explains.

Elba Schulman was born in Puerto Rico and worked tirelessly on the boards of the Institute for the Hispanic Family and the Hispanic Health Council. She lost her battle with the virus in December before the vaccine was available.

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“It was just terrible for all of us and we miss her a lot for everything she’s done for our family and the community,” says her grandson, Nick Miller.

“Had she gotten vaccinated, she might be with us today,” says Schulman.

Members of the CICD are passionate about spreading the message of the importance of the vaccine to this community, so, you’ll see vaccine clinics popping-up at all upcoming events.

“Based on all the information from the CDC, it is effective, it is safe,” says Kenneth Barela, CEO of the Hispanic Health Council, working to spread the word. “Just meeting people where they live, having conversations with them…addressing their concerns because their concerns are real.”

The council, filled with essential workers, has been busy throughout the pandemic.

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“We were addressing the issue of disparity as it pertained to testing and then as the vaccine was developed, we became more engaged in recruitment,” says Barela.

For Schulman, the mission is personal…a testament to his wife…who cared so much about her friends and neighbors.

“I know because I talked with her about it that she wanted everyone to get vaccinated, everyone to be protected,” he says.

Tune in Saturday as we celebrate The 2021 Greater Hartford Puerto Rican Day Caravan & Gathering: Thank you, Health & Essential Workers. It starts at 11:30 a.m. on News 8 and will also be streaming on WTNH.com.

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