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North Branford Teen Devotes Hours to Helping Others Book Vaccine Appointments

"When I see a problem, I want to address a problem,” said 16-year-old Luke Izzo.

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People helping people. It’s a small silver lining of the pandemic.

A North Branford resident has been doing just that, spending countless hours a week helping folks all around the state find and book vaccine appointments.

He’s only 16.

Scroll through the New York/Connecticut Vaccine Hunters and Angels Facebook page, and you’ll be sure to find appointment booking advice from Luke Izzo.

“I joined the page about a month and a half ago and then about two weeks later, I was asked to be a moderator and since then I’ve helped about 175 people book vaccine appointments,” he told NBC Connecticut.

“Luke is the youngest of 22 moderators that we have. The majority of the moderators are medical doctors, nurses, social workers,” said Facebook page co-creator Joel Leyden.

Izzo has been helping strangers find a shot before he was even eligible for one, especially older residents struggling to navigate the online sign-up system.

“There needs to be more change in the system and how it works. It’s not intuitive and it’s not easy at all.”

“When I became eligible, he was able to book me within a couple of nights. My husband had sat with my trying to get an appointment, and we just could not,” described a thankful Wendy Tarry of Branford.    

The junior at New Haven Academy has also helped families with high risk and special needs loved ones lock down an appointment too.

He does it all, even while keeping up with his homework.

“Just in my free time is when I do my deed,” he said.

And by free time, he means he spends more than 40 hours a week helping. That’s on top of school work, extra curriculars, leading the scouts, and a lawn care business too.

“He’s got the knack for public service,” said his dad Paul Izzo.

“My family in Germany, they all say they need more people like him in Germany to help with the vaccinations,” said his mother Christine.

The German-born teen is adamant he doesn’t do it for the praise, but to end the pandemic.

“It wasn’t coming through my mind like volunteer hours or college essays making myself look good. When I see a problem, I want to address a problem,” he said.

The future civil rights lawyer helped Kathleen Cropper find an excess dose, a blessing for a mother of twins who takes care of her dad fighting cancer.

“To be able to protect myself from my father really is a weight lifted,” the Branford resident said.

Because of Izzo, now she’s paying it forward and helping others book too.

The power of one good deed, or in Izzo’s case, dozens of them.

“That person is helped and I’m looking for the next person,” he said.

Izzo’s biggest tip for those looking for an appointment: don’t be afraid to ask for help.

He’s waiting at the Facebook page, ready for your questions.

“That’s just how you do your part. It takes a village it really does.”

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