VOLUNTEER DRIVERS URGENTLY NEEDED – MILLS COMMUNITY SUPPORT
Mills Community Support is putting out an urgent call for additional volunteer drivers for its popular and much-appreciated Transportation Programs. A serious shortfall in available volunteer drivers for medical transportation and bus trips may soon result in scheduling difficulties and cancelled drives. Can you help?
Every week, Mills Community Support volunteer drivers help residents in our communities get to where they need to go. We provide on average 22 trips a day, every day of the week. Sometimes our drivers are literally a lifeline for the people they drive. But we have a problem – there aren’t enough drivers to meet the constant and growing need. If you have even a few hours every week or so, you could make a huge difference to someone in your community by providing transportation to critical medical appointments, the grocery store, the bank, the hairdresser, or to meet with friends.
To understand the need, imagine you are living with chronic kidney disease and you need life-saving dialysis treatment three afternoons a week in Ottawa. Or imagine you are elderly but determined to remain in the rural home you have lived in for 55 years – but need to buy weekly groceries, plus make a trip to your bank. Or imagine you have been injured in a fall and need regular physiotherapy at the Almonte General Hospital.
Now imagine: YOU CAN’T DRIVE.
Anyone (men and women from 18 to 80 and beyond!) with a desire to help and with a valid license, insurance and a reliable vehicle can volunteer (a clean police record is also required).
What’s it like to be a volunteer driver for Mills Community Support? First and foremost, it’s incredibly rewarding to make such a huge difference in someone’s life. No-one puts it better than Brian: “The Mills volunteer drivers continually make a BIG difference to the lives of seniors. In my situation, my volunteer drivers take me for life-saving treatment at an Ottawa hospital. The volunteers are polite and friendly. We often have interesting conversations and become friends. I am very grateful and appreciate the contribution made by these caring individuals. “
Volunteer drivers use their own vehicles to take people to destinations as close as downtown Almonte as well as to other communities – Carleton Place, Perth, Arnprior, or Smiths Falls – and as far as Ottawa. Although a driver doesn’t receive a salary, per-kilometre and out-of-pocket expenses, such as parking, are cheerfully reimbursed.
In addition to private vehicles, Mills Community Support also owns a small fleet of fully accessible buses and vans, and we need drivers for these vehicles, too. These multi-passenger vehicles are used for monthly programmed events and trips and outings for seniors in our community. Although a Class F license is needed to pilot our vans or bus, we’ll even help you get the training you need to sign on as a volunteer driver.
Help Mills Community Support drive good things in our communities by becoming a volunteer driver. To find out more, please call their Home Support office at (613) 256-4700.