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.
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.
I find volunteering for Neighbor Ride to be very rewarding and flexible. Last week I drove a couple I have driven several times before. The wife never speaks any English, but the husband and I have great conversations covering many topics. While helping the wife get out of the car when dropping them off, she took my arm and said clearly, "I love you." It was very heart warming.
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.