Good Samaritans work to get seniors vaccinated in SWFL
More people are able to sign up for the vaccine, but seniors are still struggling to get their shot. So people are stepping up to help them get online and signed up.
It doesn’t stop there, as some have set up groups to share tricks of the trade for vaccine sign-up.
Good Samaritans we spoke to want more people to be able to breathe a sigh of relief knowing they are protected from the coronavirus.
People we spoke to already got vaccinated at places such as Publix or other sites in the state, and now they’re investing their time and energy to help their neighbors get that lifesaving shot.
Jan and Ron Fleming know they are two of the lucky ones.
“Surprisingly enough, we were successful in making our own appointments,” Jan said.
But sometimes it takes a village to get a vaccine appointment. The Flemings are now proud to be a part of that village to help their neighbors and those who can’t book an appointment for themselves.
“My heart goes out to people who are older and just don’t have the technology skills,” Jan said. “I have these little slips of paper with different people’s information. Ron sets up in the living room on four devices. I set up in the bedroom four devices.”
Jan and Ron have helped 25 people get a shot.
“The way I look at it, the more people who are vaccinated, that’s better for all of us,” Jan said.
Sally Harrison-Pepper feels the same way. She got her second shot in January and dyed her hair purple to celebrate. Now, she posts every resource she can find in her community’s Facebook group, calls people when she sees slots open up. She’s helped nearly 300 people get their shot.
“It’s just become a daily job,” Harrison-Pepper said. “That’s my mission is to do everything I can for my community and get us all vaccinated.”
Kathleen Murtha’s mission is similar. She created a group on the Nextdoor app where people can share their vaccine frustrations, tips and tricks.
“We’re all really happy that we’ve connected with each other,” Murtha said.
They are all connected by the struggle to get a shot and the desire to make sure everyone can get one.
The Southwest Florida community members we spoke to told me their ideas to help their neighbors get the vaccine are rubbing off on other people they know who are volunteering their time to help book vaccines for more people.
They say though they are not always successful in securing those appointments, but they keep trying until they are.
“It is heartwarming, and it really expresses an unselfishness among people to be able to help each other,” Murtha said.