I have volunteered for Neighbor Ride for 8 years--first mainly as a driver and now as a driver and Ride Coordinator. Every time I work in the office answering the phones, or drive a passenger, I hear how important Neighbor Ride is to those who use it and how friendly and helpful the drivers are. In all of my years working in paid jobs, I never experienced so many people saying "thank you". People are so grateful for being able to have transportation to doctors appointments, social events, church, beauty appointments and their own volunteer jobs. Neighbor Ride is well organized, and offers a much needed service to those who can no longer drive.
Being part of the circle of volunteerism is amazing. My "regular" Rider uses my ride so that HE can volunteer as a Chaplain for the Veteran's Administration! He shares his experience of local history and the current "state of affairs" during our time together. I believe that when you volunteer, you get more than you give. Volunteering for Neighbor Ride is a joy!
I have met many interesting people through my work as a volunteer driver. The clients are always so grateful for the drivers, and the fact that they can stay in their own homes and still get to appointments and shopping.
This non-profit is so organized and well-run. The office staff is friendly and efficient. I greatly enjoy driving the seniors. They are so appreciative. I also love the flexibility. There is no set schedule for volunteering. So many of the passengers live so close to me that it only takes a half hour out of my day.
I have been a volunteer driver since 2014. I enjoy it immensely because the passengers are so grateful. I like to take different people that I haven't met yet. I am very impressed with the overall organization. They make it easy to a take a ride that fits my schedule. Also, I discovered that neighbors on my own street are Neighbor Ride passengers! Many of the rides I take only take a half hour out of my day. Everyone should be trying this!
This has been one of my greatest volunteer experiences. I've met so many different people with so many different perspectives on life. We get to talk in a one on one setting. A senior myself, driving older seniors offers me a glimpse at what the future can hold.
Almost forgot: A flexible opportunity to serve the community. Always end a trip with a smile on my face.
Neighbor Ride is an outstanding organization serving our senior neighbors. While I'm currently a board member, I've checked my role as "Volunteer." We have always had outstanding board and professional leadership. It is an honor to be a small part of that history. However, my real joy has been driving my neighbors whom I've never before met. Drive to Church, Doctors, Exercise, Shopping and Friends. Each encounter provides a new perspective on my community and myself. And it is so easy since I only sign up to drive when it fits my schedule!
Neighbor Ride serves a great need in the community by assisting the senior residents in getting to their appointments and other obligations. I have been a driver for a year and a half and, along with my children, have really enjoyed meeting and talking with our riders. I wish this type of nonprofit was available to seniors in other communities around the country.
I have volunteered as a driver for NeighborRide for 2 years. Unlike many of my fellow drivers, I'm still working , and work the rides in to my daily schedule. I've met wonderful people who regularly bring new perspective to my life. Moreover, the tiny but effective paid staff have such an organized operation that is a volunteers dream! The devil is in the details and they've got them figured out!
Neighbor Ride is the best opportunity for a volunteer. You are free to make the rides fit into your schedule. This is especially important to me because I can work my 9 to 5 job and still schedule rides in the evening and on weekends. The seniors that we pick up are so appreciative and many have interesting stories to share. It's a perfect mix of friendly drivers and friendly seniors, a pleasant experience on both sides. I am truly grateful for the opportunity to be a driver and friend to these wonderful seniors.
I've been driving for Neighbor Ride for seven months. I started out only doing the minimum 2 rides a month, but in the past couple months, there are a few clients I've really gotten to know well and look forward to seeing them, so I try to do their rides as often as possible. I've made new friends and love our time in the car catching up. On the administrative side, Neighbor Ride makes it very easy for the drivers to find out who needs a ride. And I love volunteering in my local community, making it just a tiny bit better.
I have been volunteering for Neighbor Ride for the last two years. It gives me so much pleasure to see that I have made someone's life a bit easier for them. I have enjoyed hearing my riders life stories and how everyone is so appreciative!
I started with Neighbor Ride as a driver about six months ago. It is a very efficiently run organization by a staff that really cares about its customer base. The most wonderful aspect of Neighbor Ride is serving folks who really benefit from caring transportation and who are so grateful and sharing about their lives. I get back more than I give.
I have been driving for Neighborride for seven years now, usually for "regular" riders who need recurring rides for medical reasons. Currently I take a gentleman to dialysis three times a week (plus whatever doctor and hospital visits pop up each week!) This is no big deal for me - usually 15 minutes twice each day - but it is for him, as I do not know how he could continue living on his own without a reliable source of transportation.
My husband uses neighbor ride to get back and forth to dialysis. the people driving for this service are kind, generous and really seem to enjoy driving and helping people who cannot get around for medical appt. He has made a few friends along the way which is always nice to have in time of need. Thank you neighbor ride!
I started driving for Neighbor Ride about three years ago. I thought I'd be doing something good for others. That is true, but I had no idea how much good our clients would do for me. I have thoroughly enjoyed the clients I meet and often hearing about their life stories. What s privilege!
Neighbor Ride is the most satisfying charity I have ever worked as a volunteer. It's mission is so simple - provide low cost transportation for seniors and other eligible residents who can no longer drive themselves. Add in volunteer drivers who pass a simple test, and we all benefit. As a driver for almost 8 years, I have met so many wonderful clients, that I wish my life had more time for more rides.
I've met some interesting people and seen parts of the county i didnt know were there. i met a guy who went to the same high school as my dad, but 20 years later (we talked about how he felt as one of the few minorities in the school but how it had always been integrated). more of a slice of my dad's life! met people who were so immensely grateful that i felt humbled - took some to food bank or to doctors. but its also those who are going to socialize with disabled spouses or meet friends to finally get out of the house that also make this rewarding. The riders are all so happy to have a "new friend" and help.
my only issue is the sometimes lack of flexibility of a drive - if they would say they could go 30 minutes/hour earlier or later, i could drive more. but it is rewarding.
We all know or are related to someone older who needs a ride for a doctor appointment, shopping, or a social visit (and we, too, will need such assistance someday). Neighbor Ride provides well over a thousand rides each month, free of charge to those who cannot afford it. This is community and volunteer service at its best.
Neighbor Ride is the best volunteer gig ever!! I work the schedule and itinerary that suits me, and I meet interesting people all the time. If you like driving and meeting people, this is for you!!
I was a Neighbor Ride volunteer driver for 10+ years from the time the program began in 2004. It was wonderful to see the program grow from just a few drivers to more than 300 when I retired in 2015. Of the over 500 clients I drove to appointments I never had one that didn’t have anything but nice things to say about Neighbor Ride. It is a wonderful program and fills an important need in Howard County.
I started volunteering with Neighbor Ride when they first began in 2004. I had been looking for volunteer opportunities since I had retired but was having difficulty finding one that fit my wife and my lifestyle, which involved a lot of travel. Most volunteer opportunities I looked at needed a commitment to a specific schedule; a specific day of the week for example. Neighbor Ride’s opportunity, on the other hand, allowed me to volunteer to do rides whenever we were in town and not to feel guilty about not contributing when we were gone for a while. I have found the experience quite rewarding and the seniors we provide rides for are extremely grateful as the use of Neighbor Ride gives them back some of their independence.
I'm a volunteer driver for Neighbor Ride. I enjoy getting to know the folks I drive. And I like that I can do it whenever I have some free time in my schedule; I don't have to commit to a certain time every week, and I don't have to find a substitute when I go on vacation. So flexibility is important to me as a driver.
Neighbor Ride fills such an important need in the community. Volunteers are so helpful and the organization is run with the highest standards while keeping the passengers' needs as the highest priority.
As someone who has been involved with Neighbor Ride since it's inception, I have consistently been impressed over and over again by the positive impact Neighbor Ride's service has on many seniors lives. For many, Neighbor Ride is the only affordable source of reliable transportaiton. The staff, board and volunteers are professional and caring.
Neighbor Ride fills an very important need in our county's senior citizen community, i.e. transportation to doctors, shopping, social events, hair dressers, and whatever. As a driver, I've met some fantastic seniors who are all very appreciative of what we do. NR is well organized and makes the volunteer experience far more convenient and pleasant than any I've ever seen,
My wife and I are in our fifth year driving for Neighbor Ride. It has been, and continues to be, a great experience. We meet so many nice clients who are so appreciative of the service we provide them. The decision to give up their driver's license is one of the most life-changing events for these seniors. They lose their independence and become house-bound. Neighbor Ride provides a means for them to recover some of that independence.
Neighbor Ride is exceptionally well-run and has proven to be an invaluable asset to the Howard County older adult community.
Neighbor Ride has become an essential part of our community. Their volunteers are so giving; and the transportation service they provide has completely changed the face of aging in Howard County. Despite no longer being able to drive themselves, older adults are able to get to their doctor appointments, shop, visit with friends, attend church services and do all the other things that bring them joy and fulfillment.
I volunteered regularly at Neighbor Ride for 6 years, and then my wife and I began to divide our time between Maryland and Florida. I have continued, while in Maryland, to volunteer at Neighbor Ride, although not as a "regular shift" Ride Coordinator, but as a "floater" or occasional RC. It's that valuable to me to continue giving back to the community.
Beginning in the next couple of weeks, I am trying out a "Remote Ride Coordinator" paradigm in which I will do some of the RC functions remotely, using computer and telephone (ah, included long distance, you are my friend!) This will keep my hand in and enable me to continue volunteering with Neighbor Ride, although from 1000 miles away!
This wonderful service continues to impact my life, and in a positive fashion!!
I had absolutely no idea what I would do in retirement. I love working for NeighborRide, As a ride coordinator and driver I’ve gained a sense of purpose, made me realize how lucky I am and introduced me to so many “new friends”!
I have been driving for neighbor ride for almost 10 years. There is no doubt that I am making a difference thanks to neighbor ride. Every ride I do I get to meet someone new and they get to keep some independence in their lives. That's a win/win for everyone! Not many nonprofits can say they are beneficial to all lives, both volunteers and participants,
I've been a volunteer for Neighbor Ride for about 6 years. I was looking for a way to get involved in the community that would fit in with my work schedule and busy home life. I love the flexibility of the hours and the way the administrators organize the ride notifications. And nothing brings me more joy than to help the elderly stay active and connected. I wish my parents had this kind of service in their community.
I've been a volunteer driver for Neighbor Ride for almost two years. I signed up because I thought it was important that the elderly have a way of getting around when they couldn't drive. I was seeing in my own elderly parents (who live in another county and don't have a Neighbor Ride service) how isolated they were becoming because they couldn't drive. So I've just extended the support I provide to my parents to other elderly folks in my county. I have loved every moment. The staff goes out of its way to make the ride sign-up process so easy for the volunteers. And the clients? Oh my gosh, I've enjoyed every trip I've provided. These are fascinating, vibrant people who still have a lot to offer the world. I have learned so much about my clients' life experiences and it has enriched my life. I've been able to learn more about World War II, cooking, religion, and politics! I've been a volunteer in the community with other non-profits over the years, but this is the most appreciative clientele AND the most supportive staff I've ever had the honor of dealing with. I've enjoyed it so much that I now try to recruit new drivers! Neighbor Ride is the catalyst for keeping the elderly active and engaged at a time in their lives when doing so can be such a challenge.
I've had the most wonderful experiences volunteering with Neighbor Ride! I've met the most fascinating people and even had the opportunity to catch up with the parents of friends from my childhood neighborhood. What a fun connection that was!
I started volunteering because I wanted to make a difference. Little did I know that my life would be enriched as much, or perhaps even more so, as the lives of the people I've served through Neighbor Ride. I love the stories my passengers share and have learned so much from their beautiful perspectives. That being said, the difference that the rest of Neighbor Ride's volunteers and I are making in the lives of the seniors we drive is very clear too. With the "wheels" we provide, seniors are able to tend to their health care and continue to enjoy all the activities and social interactions that add meaning and quality to their lives. Neighbor Ride is definitely a "win-win" for all involved!
Everytime I drive for Neighbor Ride I make a new friend, which makes it so worthwhile. I also learn the challenges Seniors face in terms of mobility issues, and access to services. It helps me to be an informed advocate for this fabulous age group.
Using Neighbor Ride has been one of the nicest experiences of my 92 years old life! Meeting so many nice people and receiving such great care has been wonderful.
I have volunteered in the Neighbor Ride office for the past 7 years as a Ride Coordinator and volunteer driver. The first 6 years, following immediately upon my retirement as an Appeals Judge with the Federal Government, I had regular Ride Coordinator shifts each week. This (7th) year, I have been a "substitute Ride Coordinator" since I am away from Maryland for several months at a time.
To be succinct, Neighbor Ride changed my life, and gave me purpose in retirement. To recognize that what I was doing was helping the senior community in Howard County in a meaningful way, was very gratifying, and I am proud to "give back" to the community. This past year I have missed Neighbor Ride very much and I look forward to the occasional chances I have to continue my service as a Ride Coordinator.
For five of the years I served on the Neighbor Ride Board of Directors, which was also a gratifying experience and it gave me the ability to appreciate how well-run the organization is.
From a personal perspective, I most enjoy talking to the passengers and drivers, helping them solve problems which may arise in their experiences with Neighbor Ride. Occasionally, I meet one of these groups outside the NR setting, and it is most pleasant when they recognize me or recall that I helped them in the past.
This is the premier nonprofit in Howard County, Maryland, and its recognition of that fact for many years by the readers of a local magazine attests to its importance in this community. I'm sure that other reviewers have noted that Neighbor Ride decreases isolation and improves the health (and mental health) of members of the senior community by allowing people otherwise shut in, to get out, to their doctors, stores and any other places they need to go.
I have been volunteering for Neighbor Ride for almost 5 years, as a Ride Coordinator, Driver and a member of the Board. It is one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever enjoyed. I particularly like engaging the passengers and drivers in conversation, and in knowing that Neighbor Ride has had a positive impact on their lives.
Neighbor Ride is an incredible group of volunteers and staff who continually go the "extra mile" to deliver on the mission
As a driver (7 years of me, 10 for my wife), you met interesting people (a jazz musician, a patient advocate in a local hospital), & folks of every background (businesspeople, teachers, doctors) and nationality (I've learned some Chinese from one passenger, some Japanese from another). Best of all, you set your own schedule, everything is simple and fully automated, and Neighbor Ride is a wonderfully run organization that never leaves its volunteers or clients in the lurch! A model for the whole country to emulate. Steve S
I have worked for Neighbor Ride, volunteered, as well as served on the board for this well organized, and hugely important organization. My husband is retired and has been a volunteer driver for several years. He enjoys speaking with and getting to know the passengers. It is often the highlight of his day. It seems volunteers get as much out of Neighbor Ride do as the passengers. Thank you Neighbor Ride for all that you do for others in our community.
After an early retirement I was looking for something to do to fill some time and give back to the community. NeighborRide is perfect. I can work it around my schedule, I've met great people and I get benefits greater than the small investment of my time. The people I've driven are so grateful and repeatedly tell me how happy they are to have this service available. I recommend it highly both for seniors looking for a ride and for volunteers looking to make a big impact on people's lives.
I have been a driver for about 18 months, and the experience has broadened my horizons and made me feel more integrated into the community. Most of the riders are a joy. They are cheerful and upbeat and so happy to have the Neighbor Ride service available. While many of the rides concern therapy or doctor's visits, some people are going to card games or social gatherings. One rider happily jingled her mah jong winnings as I drove her home from a party with friends. It helps keep the elderly or those with lesser means active and involved. Their stories are also interesting. I have learned from them strategies for aging and overcoming adversity. It is a win-win service fro riders and drivers alike.
The neighbor ride volunteer experience is definitely one where the volunteer receives as much benefit as the client. Almost every time I drive the conversation is stimulating and enjoyable. You get to meet wonderful people you might never come across in any other venue. My wife and I both are drivers and we actually have become close friends with the individual she took on her very first ride, You also get to visit local areas and become much more familiar with the area.
I saw a car with a Neighbor Ride magnet on it as I was taking my son to the pediatrician one day. I had been looking for an opportunity to start volunteering my time, but finding something that fit my schedule as a mom was difficult. I did some research online, and it sounded perfect. I started by taking the minimum two riders a month, but after meeting a particular gentleman whose regular trip to the gym was short and convenient, I began picking up almost all of his trip requests. My 2 year old son knows him now, and we have great conversations on classical music as we listen to the radio on the way to the gym! This has been a great opportunity to give back, to expose my son to serving others, and to meet some interesting people!
I recently began driving for NeighborRide. It has been wonderful to be exposed to people of many different backgrounds, religions, cultures, all of whom are so appreciative of my efforts on their behalf. And they are always prompt, courteous, and positive!
There should be a Neighbor Ride in every community. I've been volunteering as a driver for about a year now, and everyone I drive tells me what a difference the service makes in their lives. It gives them continued independence and frees them from feeling as if they're imposing on friends or family. The office staff of both paid employees and volunteers is quick to respond, flexible and very supportive of both drivers and passengers. The system is well organized, well automated, and works very, very well.
I've been driving with NeighborRide for over 4 years and have enjoyed the experience tremendously. The riders are appreciative of the service and always makes the point that NeighborRide enriches their lives say something along the lines of "I don't know what I'd do without it, "
I live far away from my parents and my husband's parents and therefore don't have a chance to help them with transportation, etc. When I learned about Neighbor Ride I thought it was a perfect solution to my situation...I can't help the seniors in my family but I can help seniors where I live. It has been a most rewarding experience...to help people who can no longer drive is a beautiful thing. People are so appreciative and grateful to have a little independence that rides provide.
Also, from a practical perspective, it is terrific to be able to schedule rides when convenient for me and not to have to make a commitment for a set schedule. I look at my calendar each week and then decide what ride requests fit my schedule. The online scheduling is quick and easy, too. All in all Neighbor Ride has been a wonderful fit for me and the passengers ALWAYS appreciate the rides.
I've been a driver for over seven years. I always knew how grateful our clients were and I truly enjoyed their stories, their spirit and their sense of humor. It wasn't until I faced a bout with cancer and was unable to drive, that I realized how much I missed it. It feels great to make a donation, but when it's face-to-face, the feeling is astounding. This is the ultimate pay it forward, with the bonus that one day I can get a ride from a friend and neighbor. Steve
I have been a Neighbor Ride volunteer for about 3 years and continue to hear how grateful our seniors are for the service we provide. It's great to be part of such a wonderful organization that makes a difference in the lives of our neighbors!
I'm proud to be a volunteer with Neighbor Ride. It is an organization that has been honored with many awards in recent years -- deservedly so! It is providing a much-needed service to the community, and with the aging of our population, such services as driving people to their medical appointments will become increasingly important. Thank you, Neighbor Ride for the continued opportunity to give back to the community!
I've been a volunteer for Neighbor Ride since 2012 and I absolutely love this nonprofit organization! I love helping our senior citizens (always near and dear to my heart) and I love working with the staff at NR (Rosemary & Colleen, you ROCK!) always so friendly and willing to work with you on any schedule. I look forwarding to giving more rides when my class is finished!
Neighbor Ride was my saving grace. After working for 36 years, I retired. Now I didn't even have to get out of bed (not a good thing). I found Neighbor Ride in an internet search. Their requirements and my availability fit perfectly. They ask that you take 2 rides per month. Some days I do 2 rides in a day. I was able to work around scheduled vacations - I simply notified them how long I would be gone and the emails stopped until I returned. I purposely took early morning rides as a reason to get out of bed. The clients I've met have been awesome and I've fallen in love with so many of them. Now I look forward to the daily rides list and am occasionally disappointed to find a ride I would like to take has already been assigned! I love doing this and the clients always express their gratitude for this service!
I have been working as a ride coordinator on Fridays for over 4 years now. Every week I take calls from the seniors who use our service and am constantly told by them how grateful they are to have us and our wonderful volunteer drivers. I personally know the impact this organization is having due to the lack of one where my parents live. This organization enhances life for so many here in Howard County... week after week. I am proud to be associated with Neighbor Ride.
I started volunteering as a Ride Coordinator with Neighbor Ride over 2 years ago. I enjoy working there talking to seniors who benefit so much from this service. I constantly hear from them how this service has allowed them to get out to doctor appointments and even hair appointments! They are always praising our volunteer drivers who cheerfully provide rides and companionship. This is also the best run non profit I have ever volunteered for - well run and always appreciative of their volunteers!
I joined Neighbor Ride a month after it opened--first as a ride coordinator and soon after also as a driver. It's well-run, responsive to driver and passenger needs and is a very rewarding experience. I volunteer at many nonprofits, and Neighbor Ride is the best!
My wife and I have been drivers for Neighbor Ride for three years, and we've had the privilege of meeting many, many nice people. The clients have always expressed deep gratitude for the continued freedom that NR gives them after they are no longer able to drive. From a driver's viewpoint the operation could not be more convenient. We can pick those rides that best fit our schedule. It is well organized and the office staff is the best.
I began as a volunteer driver when I retired in mid-2011 and I've enjoyed meeting people and hearing their stories since then. I've received more than I've given, I think. I've learned so much about other people and their difficulties as they aged, and also seen neighborhoods in my own county that I've never visited before. It's been a very rewarding experience.
When I retired in July, 2011, I immediately signed up as a volunteer driver with Neighborride and I've been very happy with the program. It gives me the opportunity to help people who need it, but also to choose my times and trips.
Most important to me, though, is that I have had the opportunity to meet people who live all over Howard County, and to visit their streets and hear a bit of their lives and history in the county, which I find very interesting. It has also afforded me the opportunity to visit places outside the county, like the Johns Hopkins Hospital, which has changed so much over the last 1015 years, and other places in the area I don't normally go to.
So the program has enriched my life, taught me more about my neighbors and my community and allowed me to help others who need it.
I wish this service was available to my parents and in-laws when they needed it (they dont live near here). So when i retired I immediately signed up. I've seen neighborhoods I didnt know existed, but more, i've met some very very sweet people. Its good to know I've helped them get out of their houses to something they needed or wanted to do. This is a great service for HoCo.
I have been a volunteer drive for almost two years with Neighbor Ride and I get to see first hand the impact we have to the seniors we drive. By providing a very inexpensive ride, to their doctor, shopping or visit friends eliminates the isolated feeling many of our seniors feel.
Neighbor Ride serves a vital role in the community and the evidence is in the wonderful comments shown here by our passengers and volunteers. It has been a real pleasure to be a small part of the success of the organization and the impact it has on people's lives.
Volunteering for Neighbor Ride has been one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had. It has been a pleasure getting to know Seniors in my community and share stories while we drive. Thank you Neighbor Ride!
There is nothing more rewarding then helping those that can no longer do for themselves. This is made delightfully easy by the staff at Neighbor ride who work tirelessly to make sure matches are made between drivers and riders.
I love volunteering for Neighbor Ride because I can help someone when I am available. I travel and when I am in town I volunteer and when away they remove me from the email list. When my mother was alive she needed a service like this but there was none available where she lived. I tell people about this service who wish their parents lived in a community that offered such affordable transportation. This organization is so well run that people should realize how little time it takes to help someone. You pick the day, time and location. The direction and maps are all set up and even your mileage and cost of gas is configured for you. I have met some delightful people and feel good that I can help them get to places they need to go.
My experience with Neighbor Ride was unbelievably rewarding. I work full-time and have a fairly hectic schedule so I was seeking a way that I could give back to the community with a flexible schedule. Neighbor Ride was the answer. What I was unprepared for was the impact our clients had on my life. Independence is a gift often taken for granted when you have it; affording it to those without it otherwise adds so much to their lives!
I drove clients to church, to the gym, the grocery store, the dollar store......outings that they looked forward to all week! I cherished our conversations on the ride and made new friends. I was very sad to be unable to continue in the program and would highly recommend it to anyone interested in adding value to their life. The program is so well managed by a wonderful group of volunteers and it opened my eyes to how much it is needed in the community. I sincerely hope I can join again someday :)
My husband Jim has served by Neighbor Ride for a couple of years now- and this is the best group of volunteers ever. They are always prompt when picking him up and returning him home. My husband has the added issue of dementia and needs extra attention ... the drivers lovingly assist him in every way. I am very grateful for the volunteer drivers and this program.
I forgot to mention the wonderful volunteers who answer the phone and do the scheduling! They are awesome!
When one has extra time during retirement and the desire to "pay it forward" , Neighbor Ride provides an excellent option for community service. While there are multiple opportunities available to those who want to volunteer, Neighbor Ride gives back to the volunteer as much as the volunteer gives to Neighbor Ride. There is no fixed time or scheduling commitment. You get to donate as much, or as little, time as you want when you have the time available.
Some people do not like to say "no" when asked by others for help. With Neighbor Ride you never have to say no. You get to see who needs a ride and when they need the ride. You sign up for the ride with a positive action. If you cannot or do not want to take a ride, you do nothing, you do not have to turn someone down or say no. You call them, they do not call you.
With Neighbor Ride you quickly expand your friends in the community. You get to know you riders and can quickly see how important a few minutes of your time is to them. They get to stay in their homes because transportation is available and affordable. You can also foresee the day when you might depend upon the volunteers of Neighbor Ride to provide you with transportation so you can enjoy your later years in you own home. That's the pay it forward aspect that appeals to me.
While helping others, I get to meet some wonderful people who often touch my life with joy.
I chose to become a volunteer driver for Neighbor Ride after I retired, because when my mother was alive and lived with me for 13 years, I wish there had been such a service available to her. Neighbor Ride allows clients to maintain their independence and still be able to attend social functions or keep scheduled appointments. Family members do not have to constantly take off from work to take their loved ones to frequent appointments. While volunteering I have met lovely clients, some of whom often remind me of my own mother. Every community should have a service similar to Neighbor Ride.
I've enjoyed my 3-and-counting years as a volunteer driver for NeighborRide. The communication system is easy to understand, and it's quick, enabling me to volunteer for a ride, or decline one that's been suggested for me. I've had rare situations where I've needed to contact someone right away about a problem, and the folks working the phone are great. That's the boring, inside stuff.
But giving rides to people who need them, and enjoying the companionship, stories, and commeraderie is what it's really about. Sometimes my young sons accompany me, and they get a lot out of it too. The day my 12-year old was able to carry a box of homecooked meals for an elderly woman going to a church to feed OTHER less-advantaged people was eye-opening for him. It was a glimpse at people who need help who are also ABLE to help others. He felt so good to be able to help her, and he appreciated seeing first-hand how many layers there are to service.
You can't teach that in school.
Volunteers drive seniors. In our suburban locale, our senior clients face isolation and inability to access needed services unless they drive, or are driven. As a volunteer driver, I feel very appreciated by our clients. We frequently go to medical facilities. Some clients do have cars, but are wise enough to recognize that infirmities, such as failing eyesight or weak legs. make them unsafe/unsteady drivers. Our Neighbor Ride drivers provide these clients with access to the services they need, and at the same time we avoid having an unsteady driver on our roads.
Neighbor Ride provides exemplary support to volunteers such as myself. We are trained, and given annual refresher training. We are kept informed through regular communications. We are very much in control of when we volunteer, and are provided a very convenient web access. I am a volunteer with several other organizations, all of which are very fine. But none is as great as Neighbor Ride in its support to volunteers and its dedicated service to its clients.
I started volunteering two years ago when I became an empty nester. Driving is a wonderful way for me to give to my community while meeting new and interesting people. I enjoy getting to know my passengers and see the world through their eyes. It's a win/win for all!
I volunteer with Neighbor Ride as my way of honoring my mom who passed away several years ago. She needed rides to doctor appts and had to rely on friends and family because there was no organization like Neighbor Ride in my hometown. I lived far away and could not help out, so I volunteer knowing that I am helping another family that is looking to keep their senior active and independent. It is a great organization to volunteer for.