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Monday, May 23, 2011

Find the drivers and the seniors will come

Neighbor Ride is one of those success stories that shows the power of establishing a network of volunteers to provide a community service.  Established in 2004, this nonprofit supplemental transportation program (STP) serves Howard County residents age sixty and older, a population that is projected to increase dramatically over the next twenty years.    Because a significant number of older Americans no longer drive, they often stay at home, cutting themselves off from the activities and interaction that provide quality to their lives.  Neighbor Ride’s mission is to decrease this isolation and improve the quality of life for Howard County’s older residents by providing a reasonably priced, reliable supplemental transportation service which utilizes community volunteers and resources.

Last year Neighbor Ride provided over 7500 rides.  Yesterday they provided their 10,000 ride for the year. Ethel Sturdivant was the the rider and Bruce Fulton was the driver.  Ms. Sturdivant has not driven for the past 2 years.  She has children in the area and moved here from Calvert County to be closer to them.  For her Neighbor Ride has been a blessing to not have to depend on family and friends for rides.

The increase in rides is from seniors using the service more frequently and the County no longer providing subsidized rides to seniors through Howard Transit.  With the increase in rides requested the need to recruit more drivers is always a constant.  The next volunteer orientations are:  May 24th at 10 am, June 9th at 10 am, June 28th at 6 pm, July 8th at 7:30 am and July 20th at 6 pm.  The orientations are at the Neighbor Ride office at 8950 Route 108 Suite 115.  Their phone number is 410-884-7433


Jessie at CA said...

Hi Duane, As always, great citizen reporting you do! Hey, as part of the convo re how to work in relationship to an aging population, may I suggest to your readers that they take a look at an upcoming event CA and the Howard Hughes Corp are sponsoring? The event is "21st Century Development Trends: How Will Columbia Measure Up?" It's FREE, with dessert and coffee served, to boot. :-)

duanestclair said...

Thanks for the info Jesse. I will be there. Sounds like an interesting event.