NJ woman helps seniors get vaccine appointments in honor of mom

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

Video Transcript

- And tonight we celebrate a hometown hero from Swedesboro who is paying tribute to her late mom by helping her mom's friends take care of important business. Action News community journalist Beccah Hendrickson has the story.

DEBORAH BELFUS: If you drove down King's Highway, you wouldn't even know we were here.

BECCAH HENDRICKSON: Tucked away in this Swedesboro apartment complex.

DEBORAH BELFUS: A lot of people don't know this place exists.

BECCAH HENDRICKSON: 36 seniors are home. Few, like 91-year-old Ruth Shute, have gone far this past year.

RUTH SHUTE: Difficult to put up with sometimes, because you're stuck in the house.

BECCAH HENDRICKSON: One woman knows this neighborhood well, though.

JENNIFER CAVALLARO-FROMM: Hi, Ruth! How are you?

BECCAH HENDRICKSON: Her mom lived here for a decade.

JENNIFER CAVALLARO-FROMM: My connection to the community is many years and beautiful memories made.

BECCAH HENDRICKSON: But Jen hadn't been back for a year. Her mom, Misty Sharbo, passed away February 2020 from cancer. Then the pandemic hit and Jen lost touch. Until a few weeks ago.

JENNIFER CAVALLARO-FROMM: One night, I just thought you know, my mom would want me to make sure that her community was vaccinated. Because the truth is, the first vaccination appointment that I would have secured would have been hers.

BECCAH HENDRICKSON: In just a few days' time, Jen was able to secure vaccine appointments for pretty much every senior who wanted one at the Acme a few miles up the road. But she still had one more problem to solve: how she would get them there.

DEBORAH BELFUS: There's no local transportation.

BECCAH HENDRICKSON: Jen and a few friends drove them all themselves. And once everyone, including herself was vaccinated she came back with hundreds of dollars' worth of everyday items. Paper towels and food, puzzles and crosswords.

DEBORAH BELFUS: Being aged and alone, you need something to occupy your mind. I'm thinking of your mother.

BECCAH HENDRICKSON: Deb was Misty's best friend.

DEBORAH BELFUS: She just-- she would be elated.

JENNIFER CAVALLARO-FROMM: She would definitely say I'm proud. She would say, I'm exceptionally proud of you, Jennifer. So I can feel that.

BECCAH HENDRICKSON: In Swedesboro, Beccah Hendrickson, Channel 6 Action News.

- Please tell us about a hometown hero in your community. Share their story on 6ABC.com. We might just feature them right here on Action News at 6:00.