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Area volunteers help elderly stay independent and mobile

Beverly McLaughlin, 80, of North Fort Myers, prepares to take her cat to the vet with Norman and Adrienne Schreiber, not pictured, both volunteers with the Senior Friendship Center in Fort Myers. McLaughlin meets with the Schreiber family at least once a week for breakfast. The couple also helps her with a few of her weekly errands and offers her the extra help to ensure she can remain independent. Tristan Spinski/Staff

Photo by TRISTAN SPINSKI

Beverly McLaughlin, 80, of North Fort Myers, prepares to take her cat to the vet with Norman and Adrienne Schreiber, not pictured, both volunteers with the Senior Friendship Center in Fort Myers. McLaughlin meets with the Schreiber family at least once a week for breakfast. The couple also helps her with a few of her weekly errands and offers her the extra help to ensure she can remain independent. Tristan Spinski/Staff

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  • Belva Padgett, left, of Naples, a volunteer with the Dr. Piper Center for Social Services, loads a walker belonging to Bill Blackney, III, right, of Naples, into the car at their apartment complex in Naples before heading to the grocery store. Padgett volunteers to help around a half dozen residents in the Goodlette Arms apartment complex go to the grocery store and hair salon, attend their medical appointments and tackle other daily chores throughout the week.  Local nonprofits in southwest Florida have been paralyzed by volunteer shortages and struggle to meet the growing demand of needs seniors who have limited mobility. Tristan Spinski/Staff
  • Beverly McLaughlin, left, 80,  laughs with Norman Schreiber, right, and his wife, Adrienne Schreiber, not pictured, both volunteers with the Senior Friendship Center in Fort Myers, over their shared weekly breakfast in their North Fort Myers neighborhood. Schreiber says volunteering to help homebound senior citizens, like McLaughlin, who he says are sometimes not much older than him, gives him the opportunity to make friends and give back to the community. Tristan Spinski/Staff
  • Belva Padgett, left, a volunteer for the Dr. Piper Center for Social Services, jokes with Lucy Cusson, a stylist at Lely Beauty Salon in East Naples, during her weekly hair appointment. Padgett takes several residents from her Goodlette Arms apartment complex in Naples to the salon with her every week. Winnie Musbek, not pictured, who lives at Goodlette Arms, says she depends on Padgett's generosity for her salon visits and her medical appointments. 'You lose your independence when you don't drive anymore,' Musbek says. 'You kind of feel like a prisoner. Everyone feels like that.' Tristan Spinski/Staff
  • Belva Padgett delivers a cart of groceries to Margarette Rice, not pictured, in their shared apartment complex in Naples. Padgett takes Rice to her medical appointments and grocery shops for Rice every week, as Rice's health and physical condition restricts her mobility. 'She's my guardian angle,' Rice says about Padgett. 'A person like me would be lost without her.' Tristan Spinski/Staff
  • Beverly McLaughlin, 80, of North Fort Myers, prepares to take her cat to the vet with Norman and Adrienne Schreiber, not pictured, both volunteers with the Senior Friendship Center in Fort Myers. McLaughlin meets with the Schreiber family at least once a week for breakfast. The couple also helps her with a few of her weekly errands and offers her the extra help to ensure she can remain independent. Tristan Spinski/Staff
  • Martha Scott, 74, of North Fort Myers, sits for a portrait in her apartment. Scott says she used to depend on rides from Faith in Action, who had to cancel their transportation services because of insurance liability issues. Scott says that now having to ask friends and neighbors for rides makes her feel like she's a nuisance. 'You feel like you're begging. And no senior should ever feel like they're begging, Scott says. Tristan Spinski/Staff
  • Belva Padgett, left, of Naples, a volunteer with the Dr. Piper Center for Social Services, helps Bill Blackney, III, right, also of Naples, shop for groceries at Publix  supermarket in Naples. Padgett volunteers to help around a half dozen residents in the Goodlette Arms apartment complex go to the grocery store and hair salon, attend their medical appointments and tackle other daily chores throughout the week.  Local nonprofits in southwest Florida have been paralyzed by volunteer shortages and struggle to meet the growing demand of needs seniors who have limited mobility. Tristan Spinski/Staff
  • Adrienne Schreiber, right, hugs Beverly McLaughlin goodbye in front of McLaughlin's apartment complex in North Fort Myers after their weekly breakfast get-together. Tristan Spinski/Staff
  • Martha Scott, 74, of North Fort Myers, sits for a portrait in her apartment. Scott says she used to depend on rides from Faith in Action, who had to cancel their transportation services because of insurance liability issues. Scott says that now having to ask friends and neighbors for rides makes her feel like she's a nuisance. 'You feel like you're begging. And no senior should ever feel like they're begging, Scott says. Tristan Spinski/Staff
  • Winnie Musbek, left, who lives at Goodlette Arms, says she depends on Belva Padgett's generosity for her salon visits and her medical appointments. 'You lose your independence when you don't drive anymore,' Musbek says. 'You kind of feel like a prisoner. Everyone feels like that.' Tristan Spinski/Staff
  • Bill Blackney, III, of Naples, at Publix  chats with the cashier at Publix supermarket in Naples. Belva Padgett, not pictured, a friend from Blackney's apartment complex, volunteers to help Blackney and several other residents in the Goodlette Arms apartment complex go to the grocery store and hair salon, attend their medical appointments and tackle other daily chores throughout the week.  Local nonprofits in southwest Florida have been paralyzed by volunteer shortages and struggle to meet the growing demand of needs seniors who have limited mobility. Tristan Spinski/Staff
  • Belva Padgett, left, of Naples, a volunteer with the Dr. Piper Center for Social Services, helps Bill Blackney, III, right, also of Naples, grocery shop at Publix  supermarket in Naples. Padgett volunteers to help around a half dozen residents in the Goodlette Arms apartment complex go to the grocery store and hair salon, attend their medical appointments and tackle other daily chores throughout the week.  Local nonprofits in southwest Florida have been paralyzed by volunteer shortages and struggle to meet the growing demand of needs seniors who have limited mobility. Tristan Spinski/Staff
  • Belva Padgett, of Naples, a volunteer with the Dr. Piper Center for Social Services, shops for Bill Blackney, III, not pictured, also of Naples, at Publix  supermarket in Naples. Padgett volunteers to help around a half dozen residents in the Goodlette Arms apartment complex go to the grocery store and hair salon, attend their medical appointments and tackle other daily chores throughout the week.  Local nonprofits in southwest Florida have been paralyzed by volunteer shortages and struggle to meet the growing demand of needs seniors who have limited mobility. Tristan Spinski/Staff
  • Beverly McLaughlin, center, takes her cat to the vet with Norman and Adrienne Schreiber, not pictured, before heir weekly breakfast get together in North Fort Myers. Tristan Spinski/Staff
  • Beverly McLaughlin, left, Adrienne Schreiber, center, and Norman Schreiber, not pictured, order breakfast during their weekly get together in North Fort Myers. Tristan Spinski/Staff
  • Margarette Rice, left, says goodbye to Belva Padgett after receiving a delivery of supplies in her apartment at Goodlette Arms in Naples. Padgett takes Rice to her medical appointments and grocery shops for Rice every week, as Rice's health and physical condition restricts her mobility. 'She's my guardian angle,' Rice says about Padgett. 'A person like me would be lost without her.' Tristan Spinski/Staff

Nonprofit agencies that cater to the elderly in Southwest Florida say they are in desperate need of volunteers.

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