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Local businessman’s generosity ensures VON clients will keep bus service

TRURO – A Truro businessman has answered the pleas of VON clients who were disheartened to lose their specialized bus service.

Stephen Higgins and Mary Murphy rely on a specialized bus service to get into the VON’s adult day program in Truro. They VON clients, pictured with the program’s co-ordinator Monique Natividad, are thrilled the general manager of Simply Automotive and Shine Factory has offered to pay for a bus service since the community’s able transit bus has been discontinued. File photo

Last week, an article ran in the Truro Daily News about the VON’s distress regarding the closure of the Disabled Consumers Society of Colchester’s able transit bus due to financial constraints. The loss of the bus meant some VON adult day program clients would either not be able to attend the program or decrease the number of visits, which would be a detriment to their social, mental, physical and emotional health.

The VON asked the community to consider helping and Tim DeVouge, general manager of Simply Automotive and Shine Factory in Truro, has answered the call.

DeVouge confirmed with the Truro Daily News on Wednesday he would provide the estimated $200 a week it would cost to pay for bus service from the Colchester Transportation Co-operative Limited (CTCL) for the VON.

“I’ll help as soon as they need it and for as long as they need it,” DeVouge said. He added that when he read the newspaper article it immediately struck him something had to be done.

“It impacts some people’s lives. If we don’t take care of each other who will? It’s the least I can do … for $800 a month, it’s a small price to pay.”

DeVouge said he was prompted to help because of the blessings he has received from the community over the years.

“If it wasn’t for Truro, I wouldn’t have what I have,” he said.

Monique Natividad, the VON program’s co-ordinator, was thrilled with DeVouge’s generosity.

“I’m so excited. I can’t believe it. The clients had the biggest smiles, they were elated and their families are incredibly relieved because it would’ve been hard on them too,” Natividad said.

“This is a great (example) of people listening and helping each other. I’m so pleased somebody listened to our plea.”

Not only does it benefit VON clients, but also it means no changes to VON staffing.

“If we lost clients it may have impacted a staff member’s (job),”

said Natividad, adding there was another less ideal option.

The CTCL bus for others in the community, which is very busy, could have been used for VON clients as well. However, it would not have been necessarily available when the clients needed the service and less hours a week.

Twitter: tdnMonique

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