SWFL nonprofit seeks help continuing mission transporting people to appointments

Reporter: Breana Ross Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
Credit: WINK News.

A charity is becoming a hero to some, as it steps up to help out. It’s become the only means for thousands to get to doctor appointments and other places after being cut off.

Nonprofit Café of Life in Bonita Springs wants the public’s help to make up for the loss of the Good Wheels Transportation program and the people its serves get to their appointments.

Joseph Dugeau goes to the doctor a lot, and he can’t get there himself. So he relies on Café of Life.

“This is badly needed here,” Dugeau said. “I’m a disabled veteran.”

Dugeau feels for hundreds of people who suddenly don’t know how they’re going to get to their appointments now that Good Wheels is out of business.

Café of Life hopes to help as many of them as possible.

“People have been calling us, including dialysis centers, asking perhaps if we can jump in and help with the transportation of their clients,” said Nina Hart, the transportation and PR coordinator at Café of Life. “But, for us to do that, we need volunteers.”

Skeet Shutt volunteers as a driver at Café of Life, and he said more help is needed to continue the nonprofit’s mission.

“The supply of buses and transportation is dwindling,” Skeet Shutt said. “So we need more volunteers so that we can belly up and take more people.”

Community members can help by volunteering to drive a Café of Life bus or van or by using your own car to take people to their doctor appointments.

Café of Life serves people in Bonita Springs. But organizers hope more volunteers will allow them to expand its service. Anyone who needs a ride and dial the 211 help line, and the operator will put callers in touch with the agency nearest to them.

For more information, visit the Café of Life website.

Dugeau told us the people who take him where he needs to go make a huge difference in his life and the lives of so many others.

“They’re doing things for you that you just can’t thank them enough,” Dugeau said.

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