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Community is more important than profit to one Longmont business

Longmont Shuttle took family to get second vaccine shot when their car became unusable.

When a local family couldn’t drive themselves to their COVID-19 vaccine appointment, Longmont Shuttle company stepped in to offer a free ride. 

It was a hot and sunny day at the Boulder County Fairgrounds when Kathleen and Kary Miller arrived for their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Although both of them were nervous to receive the second shot, they were excited to get back to some semblance of normalcy after over a year of the coronavirus pandemic. 

“I’m excited to reunite with my brother and his family,” said Kary, who is excited for her, her mother Kathleen and her three children to return to something close to normal in the coming months. 

It was against all odds that the Millers arrived at their vaccine appointment, as a few weeks prior, they were saddled with large car repair bills and their car was ultimately rendered undrivable. 

“It was over $3,000 to repair the car, but after all that it still overheats and the engine light is still on,” Kary said. “We can’t drive the car anymore.” 

In a household that’s often strapped for cash, the thousands of dollars in car repair bills had a large impact on their financial situation. 

“We’re not a very wealthy family but we’re trying,” said Kathleen who lives with Kary and her children. “Something like this is just devastating.”

The Millers were ultimately left stranded and with their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine scheduled for April 30, they were worried they wouldn’t be able to make it to their appointments. 

That’s when Simon Chen of Longmont Shuttle stepped in to help the Millers. 

“We were the only shuttle company (in Longmont) to stay open during the pandemic. We invested heavily in health and safety protocols so we could continue to help the community,”  Chen said. 

Chen is the owner of Longmont Shuttle, an airport shuttle service that has been helping the community throughout the coronavirus pandemic. By delivering groceries and necessities to the residents of Longmont for no charge, Longmont Shuttle has proven that sometimes community comes before profit.

“We’ve been losing money every month since the start of the pandemic, but we weren’t going to leave the community stranded,” Chen said. “In the overall scheme of things, the cost was not that great compared to helping the community. It seemed like the right thing to do.”

Through the Millers, he saw another opportunity to help those in need.

“When the Millers needed help, they were no different than the other people we’ve helped with picking up groceries or medication, a vaccine appointment was no different,” he said. 

Because of Chen and everyone at Longmont Shuttle’s help, the Millers received their second vaccination and are currently at home recovering, excited to have taken another step towards normalcy.