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.
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 :)
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.
I love driving for Neighbor Ride! The seniors are so grateful to the drivers, and I have met some lovely people.
The people I drive are always so grateful, and happy that they can stay in their own home. I have a couple of customers who are becoming friends, and I enjoy meeting new people when I drive.
I have been with Neighbor Ride for just a few months. I have been doing about one ride per week. I have been amazed at how well the program is run. I am so grateful for the opportunity to meet such sweet and wonderful people. Every client that I have driven has left me with a wonderful memory, each one is a very special person. Thank you Neighbor ride for giving me the opportunity to meet them.
Ines G Perez
I have driven for Neighbor Ride for slight over one year. I came to the organization to fulfill a social work assignment for a training program that I was in. However, it did not take long for me to realize that this was not going to be a one-time assignment but rather something that I wanted to do. I soon felt that through Neighbor Ride I was becoming a vital part of the community. I was meeting a definite need for many of the residents in the area. I have met some of the most interesting and, in their own way, exciting people while driving them to appointments. By meeting their needs, I found that I am also meeting personal needs as well. I feel that I am contributing to the wellbeing and happiness of people that would otherwise have a world bound by the walls of their home. Talking to people as we drive to and from various locations helps me to see the contribution that I, Neighbor Ride and these people all combine to make to the well-being of this neighborhood. I am no longer seeing Neighbor Ride as an assignment for a class but rather something that I do and will continue to do that enriches my life as well as our clients' lives. I believe that the impact of Neighbor Ride begins with our clients but spiders out into the lives that touch them as well,
I love my volunteer gig with Neighbor Ride! I get the personal reward of helping home-bound seniors get out of their homes for appointments, shopping, or social outings. This is huge, as isolation is a major problem for seniors who cannot drive, and it really makes me feel good to know I'm helping. Bonus #1 - I can participate as little or as much as my schedule allows - I pick the exact rides and times that work for me. Bonus #2 - I meet some of the most interesting people - I've given rides to presidential speechwriters, inventors, authors, artists, pretty much everyone I meet has an interesting story to share about their life!
I volunteer in many capacities, but Neighbor Ride is by far the most enjoyable and satisfying. The work is rewarding for me on many levels, and the clients I transport are truly appreciative. No matter what your workload or schedule, it is delightfully easy to find driver assignments that fit. I strongly recommend Neighbor Ride if you are looking for a way to give back to the community but are unable to commit to a fixed schedule.
My husband & I have driven for NeighborRide for almost 6 years. I know that providing transportation allows seniors to remain independent longer, but what I love most is the interesting people that I meet. I am always enriched by the seniors that I drive and it's a privilege to serve them.
Almost 5 years ago, i decided that although I couldn't help my out-of state- mother with her transportation needs, I could help someone's parent. NeighborRide has allowed me to do that, and much more. The riders are so interesting with such varied life stories and experiences. It has truly been an enriching experience to hear them and to learn lessons about aging gracefully. I've also learned the location of almost all of the senior housing in HoCo. Now if there were only a similar service in my mom's town....
At my age, seventeen, driving is a priviledge, not a right. Many teens take advantage of the fact that they only need to prove they are capable and responsible in order to earn the approval of their parents to drive. Elder citizens have lost the ability to drive and have no choice but to lean on their neighbors, family members and friends to provide transportation so they can continue to fufill their lives. From the perspective of a child of a volunteer, Neighbor Ride has not only enhanced the lives of the seniors, but has also enhanced the lives of the volunteers who serve. This service enables the community, young and old, to connect and come together as neighbors should. I have seen my parents joy at being able to care for elders and return at least a small amount of their independence to them.
Each day during the school year I take our youngest son to pre-school and then return to our home. Most Tuesday mornings a Neighbor Ride passenger needs a ride to a local senior/community center for a morning of exercise and then a meal with fellow seniors. Her home is right on the way home from our son's pre-school and the senior/community center is right by our home. Thanks to the Neighbor Ride organization, most Tuesday's I pick-up this passenger and take her to the senior center and then take her back home during my lunch break. How convenient, simple and helpful is this - and this is just one of many passengers I have had the chance to interact with. I have had many other opportunities to take folks to doctor appointments, physical therapy sessions, etc. - and on many occasions fitting their trip needs in with errands I needed to run anyway. Again - how simple, convenient, and beneficial for all involved. I also volunteer in the Neighbor Ride office and have seen first hand how wonderful and dedicated the small team of folks that run the organization are. Whether its a last minute emergency driver cancellation or trying to make sure a passenger gets to a critical medical appointment, they always willing to jump in and help a passenger get to where they need to be.