For most of us, getting to and from medical appointments is not an issue: we drive ourselves, arrange for a friend or family member to take us, take public transit, hire a taxi or walk. However, these options are often not that simple for seniors. To address this, Sources Community Resources Society (SOURCES) launched its Volunteer Wheels Program in 2009. Carried out by volunteers, White Rock/South Surrey seniors have an affordable, accessible and reliable means to get to their healthcare appointments – anywhere in the Lower Mainland.
“Clients make direct arrangements with their drivers, who provide door-to-door service by offering a steady arm to and from the client’s door, and to and from the respective facility’s door,” said Carrie Belanger, Manager of Volunteer Resources at SOURCES. “They also help clients load and unload their mobility device into the vehicle. Arrangements are made according to the client’s needs. It’s hassle-free.”
“Our volunteer drivers are fantastic. They provide one-on-one and tailored service to all clients; in fact, we have clients who request specific drivers after building relationships with them,” Belanger said. “We campaign for funds in order to subsidize our costs, which include fuel, tolls and insurance. Reducing the financial barriers that our clients may have in using transportation means that it is more accessible, affordable and reliable.”
In May 2017, Volunteer Drivers drove nearly 1,500 km to take seniors to 44 healthcare appointments across the Lower Mainland. It costs us just 50 cents per kilometre to do this, thanks to donations from generous supporters. However, Volunteer Wheels has limited funding. This month, SOURCES is participating in the Great Canadian Giving Challenge: a nationwide contest giving Canadian charities the chance to win a $10,000 donation. Every dollar donated to Sources in June gives us an entry in the draw. Until Canada Day, SOURCES continues to sit at the edge of its seat, awaiting the outcome.
We thank our supporters, donors and volunteer drivers. It is your loyalty, contributions and kindness that keep Volunteer Wheels rolling and give us a better chance at winning the Challenge.
Help us increase our odds of winning by donating before the end of June. Donations must be made via CanadaHelps.org or GivingChallenge.ca.