Virtually every single aspect of our lives has changed over the past year. As we have adapted to our new “COVID–normal” we have learned how to do just about everything in a new way. We have reimagined how to work, learn, worship, grieve, socialize and even give back to our community as we Zoom into this brave new world.
Another thing we have discovered is just how hard it is to be isolated from our friends, family and communities. We now realize how many things we have taken for granted, like gathering for meals or celebrating special milestones in person.
This isolation is nothing new to many older adults who are aging in place and can no longer drive. Our older neighbors are reliant on the kindness of family and friends to help them move around in the world. For those who do not have a strong support network or have lost their spouse who they may have relied on, the world can become a very lonely and difficult place to navigate.
Volunteer drivers have a special role to play in the lives of many seniors in our community. NV Rides supports a network of kind, compassionate volunteers who lovingly take older adults to their medical appointments, or to the grocery store or food bank. These volunteers offer so much more than just a ride. The friendships that are forged through time spent together is a true gift to both the riders and the drivers.
Today we are faced with a challenge like none other. Before COVID, the average age of our volunteer driver was 68. This makes sense because in order to be a volunteer driver you need to be available during the work week when people need help with rides to the doctor or store. Now, however, many of our drivers are not comfortable driving because they themselves are in a high-risk category and cannot put themselves in a vulnerable position.
However, we look at this moment as an opportunity.
There are thousands of people who are working from home right now who may have some flexibility in their schedule to give back a couple of hours a month. Many others may have accelerated their retirement plans due to the pandemic. The wonderful thing about being a volunteer driver is that there are no up– front time commitments. Volunteers review the upcoming ride requests, and only select those that work with their schedule.
With large-scale volunteering events cancelled for the foreseeable future, this is a meaningful and important way that you can make a big difference. Our drivers help seniors live independently and prevent social isolation, one safe ride at a time.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more and to find a partner in your community.
“With large-scale volunteering events cancelled for the foreseeable future, this is a meaningful and important way that you can make a big difference. Our drivers help seniors live independently and prevent social isolation, one safe ride at a time.