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Naples Senior Center volunteers helping seniors during coronavirus isolation

People helping people during the coronavirus crisis. The Naples Senior Center is closing Wednesday, but officials there say they won’t let their seniors down.

Lots of them depend on the center to socialize and even to eat. One volunteer is helping them find hope in moments of darkness.

”These volunteers are going way above their normal responsibilities to put themselves at the forefront of helping our seniors,” said the center’s CEO, Dr. Jaclynn Faffer.

Alan Horowitz, 72, has volunteered at the Naples Senior Center for six years.

“I’m a very lucky man and that’s why I volunteer,” he says.

A duty even closer to his heart now that concerns over the coronavirus have forced the center to close their doors.

”It’s hard to be head of an organization that diminishes isolation among seniors and now shutting our doors and telling the seniors,” Faffer said.

“It’s breaking their hearts to close, but it’s the right thing to do,” Horowitz said. “I’m very careful: staying away from crowds, keeping my distance, washing my hands.”

Now, Horowitz helps deliver lunches to friends at home, and they hope to enjoy each other’s company face-to-face again soon.

“These people do need help, they need us, they need to know that there’s somebody out there that cares,” he said. “I’m an optimist. It will pass.”

The senior center says volunteers will call all of its seniors and be there to help. Employees will offer their services online, including exercise programs. They hope to reopen soon.

Reporter:Gina Tomlinson
Writer:Briana Harvath
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