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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Neighbor Ride Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Human Services, Philanthropy, Senior Centers, Seniors, Transportation Assistance, Voluntarism Promotion

Mission: Neighbor Ride enhances the health and quality of life for Howard County's seniors by providing affordable, volunteer-based supplemental transportation.

Results: The demand for Neighbor Ride's senior transportation service is at all-time highs, with volunteers providing an average of 1,500 trips per month.

Target demographics: Seniors, age 60 and over

Direct beneficiaries per year: 468 seniors - helping them stay healthy and connected to the people and activities that add meaning and quality to their lives

Geographic areas served: Volunteer-driven transportation is provided for Howard County seniors to destinations in a 900-square mile area.

Programs: Our team of 350 volunteers coordinate and provide rides for local seniors, helping them remain active, independent and connected to the community

Community Stories

145 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love volunteering for Neighbor Ride. The people I drive have such interesting stories to tell. I feel as though my life is enriched by being an active volunteer for this organization.

Victoria Burton H.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

1 Jill M.5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Karen Palen S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Client Served

Rating: 5

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!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.

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General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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,

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

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Board Member

Rating: 4

Neighbor Ride is exceptionally well-run and has proven to be an invaluable asset to the Howard County older adult community.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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”!

Andrea156

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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,

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

aslaw

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

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Board Member

Rating: 5

Neighbor Ride is an incredible group of volunteers and staff who continually go the "extra mile" to deliver on the mission

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.