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Truro businessman's generosity astounds VON participants

TRURO - Monique Natividad continues to be amazed.

VON adult day program co-ordinator Monique Natividad, left, surprises participants, Phyllis Wilson and Joanne Turpel with carnations for Valentine's Day donated by local businessman Tim DeVouge. He has been a generous supporter of the program for the past year, providing funds for a busing service, gifts for clients at Christmas and other special donations.

A year after hearing the VON adult day program was in need of assistance, Tim DeVouge remains committed to helping the cause. DeVouge constantly surprises the organization with yet another blessing, said Natividad, the VON adult day program co-ordinator.

"He's so wonderful. He keeps giving and giving ... he has a big heart," said Natividad.

For example, she said, since last February, DeVouge, the general manager of Simply Automotive in Truro, has given $4,650 to the Colchester Transportation Co-operative Limited (CTCL) bus, which enables clients transportation to and from the adult day program.

When Able Transit Bus service ended last February, there was concern some clients who had been using that bus service wouldn't be able to get to and from the program, which runs three days a week at Johnson Manor on Church Street. CTCL offered transportation by putting a second bus on the road, but after clients paid their daily fee for the bus, there would be a financial shortfall at the end of the month. DeVouge's donations ensured that wasn't an issue.

In addition, DeVouge purchased a small gift for each of the 25 program clients at Christmas and paid for turkeys for their annual Christmas dinner.

And, in time for Valentine's Day, DeVouge yet again reached out to the program and made sure 25 carnations were purchased: one for each client. He also offered $250 for the group to enjoy a special Valentine's meal.

"It means the world to us to know he cares. A thank you is not enough," said Natividad.

"I think he's fantastic," Mary Murphy, an adult day program participant, said of DeVouge.

"It's great. It means an awful lot. It really makes my day. The days that there is no adult day (program) I feel sort of lost."

DeVouge says no thanks is required.

"It means a lot they appreciate it," he said humbly, saying the cause is worthwhile because VON staff goes above and beyond for their clients.

"And (clients) depend on (the program) for their lives. Without it, some of them would be shut-in; it's a sanctuary and it's an absolute necessity to have," DeVouge said, adding he intends to continue supporting the program.

"We should all help each other more," he said.

Natividad echoed DeVouge's comments about the VON program being a lifeline for its clients.

"Without his help there are people who couldn't come because the bill would be too big," she said. "Then they would lose out on socialization and respite for the caregivers which is needed."

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