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Ft Myers seniors get support. You get tacos. (Go on, click to see how)

Taco Fest is Sunday, March 10th at the Caloosa Amphitheater in downtown Ft Myers.
Posted at 4:50 PM, Mar 05, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-05 22:33:25-05

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Martha describes her friend as "a best friend, about my age...a wonderful companion".

They'd shop together.

Her friend would take her to doctor's appointments.

But then, Martha tells us her friend had a stroke - and died.

That's a reality, Martha says, that she's used to at this point in life.

"At my age, your friends pass way or they move away and it's just really hard to meet new people."

With no family around and her one friend no longer around to assist with shopping and transportation, she felt very lonely.

"There can be days where you really don't have anyone to converse with. Sometimes the only person I have to talk to is my cat."

That's why she decided to call the Dr. Piper Center in Fort Myers a few years ago.

The center has been around since the 1970's.

It's named after Dr. Ella Piper - a monumental entrepreneur and philanthropist in Fort Myers.

The non-profits programs provide opportunities for senior volunteers to serve in the community through companionship, transportation and youth support.

The transportation program, Faith in Action, has made a major impact on Martha's life.

She tells FOX 4's Shari Armstrong that the program helped her to not only get around town, but it also helped her to reconnect with people, too.

"A friend that meets me at my gate and takes me to my appointments."

Melissa Bonner is the non-profits CEO.

"We serve about a thousand home-bound elderly clients. Our volunteers are basically the heartbeat of our agency. They're out serving those in need and then through the volunteerism, they're connected to their community."

A connection that goes beyond an act of service.

"It's really changed my life"

You can support the organization's seniors by attending Sunday's Taco Fest.

Organizers say some of the proceeds from the event go to the center's volunteers.