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Local Kidney Foundation seeks volunteer help

By Staff | Feb 26, 2009

Volunteers for the local chapter of the National Kidney Foundation manage a thrift store in downtown Cape Coral to benefit people undergoing dialysis, and currently the store is in dire need of more helpers.
According to Alice Bello, a member of the chapter, the foundation has benefited residents since 1978 with a number of services including transportation back and forth to appointments, education on kidney problems and assistance for the needy.
“We raise money to help dialysis patients,” said Bello. “They can come in our store and get clothes or whatever they need for free.”
There are currently 65 members of the Cape chapter of the National Kidney Foundation, but most of the members are elderly and will not be able to continue volunteering. She said the chapter had more members in the 1970s and 1980s.
“Now most of our members are elderly and we’ve lost some,” said Bello. “Some have gotten ill or not able to volunteer, so we’ve lost quite a few.”
Volunteers at the thrift store work in one of two shifts, either 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m. or 1-4 p.m. They also meet once a month for a chapter luncheon at the Empire Buffet on Del Prado Boulevard.
According to the National Kidney Foundation, there are more than 485,000 people in the United States being treated for renal disease or kidney failure, costing an estimated $23 billion a year.
The National Kidney Foundation Thrift Store is located at 4836 Candia St. For more information on becoming a volunteer, call 945-1835.