Swedesboro, NJ woman helps seniors get vaccine appointments in honor of mom

SWEDESBORO, New Jersey (WPVI) -- A Swedesboro, New Jersey woman is paying tribute to her late mom by helping her mom's friends take care of important business.

Tucked away off of Kings Highway in Swedesboro is Kings Way Apartments.

"You wouldn't even know we were here. A lot of people don't know this place exists," said Deborah Belfus.

Thirty-six seniors call the complex home. Few, like 91-year-old Ruth Shute, haven't gone far this past year.

"It's difficult to put up with sometimes because you're stuck in the house more often than you used to be," said Shute.

Jennifer Cavallaro-Fromm knows this neighborhood well though. Her mother lived here for a decade.

"My connection to the community is many years of beautiful memories made with my mom, my children," she said.

She hadn't been back for a year, however. Her mom, Misty Sharbo passed away in February 2020 from cancer. Then the pandemic hit and Jenn lost touch until a few weeks ago.

"One night I just thought, you know my mom would want me to make sure her community is vaccinated because the truth is the first vaccination appointment I would have secured is hers," Cavallaro-Fromm said.

She went door to door and found two-thirds of the seniors hadn't been able to get appointments.

"The reality is that for a lot of our seniors, they don't have access to the internet," said Cavallaro-Fromm.

In just a few days time, Cavallaro-Fromm was able to secure appointments for 22 seniors at the Acme a few miles up the road, but she still had one more problem to solve: how she would get them there.

"There's no local transportation. You can't get a Lyft or an Uber here," said Belfus.

Cavallaro-Fromm and a few friends drove them. Once everyone, including herself, was vaccinated, she came back with hundreds of dollars worth of everyday items including paper towels, food, puzzles, and crosswords.

"Being aged and alone, you need something to occupy your mind," said Belfus, who was Misty's best friend in the complex. "She just, she would be elated."

"She would definitely say I'm proud. She would say I'm exceptionally proud of you Jennifer. So I can feel that," said Cavallaro-Fromm.
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