They need us for more than just a ride.
Norma Watts is as reliable as they come. She has been volunteering as a driver for RSVP’s Provide-A-Ride program for over six years. Provide-A-Ride ensures that older, low income seniors receive the support they need for healthy and independent living by providing rides to medical appointments.
I used to volunteer for another nonprofit, but I did not like the fact that we were taking several people at a time and just dropping them off. Often, they would have to wait a long time for us to come back for them. With Provide-A-Ride, we stay with our senior clients from the moment we pick them up to the moment we take them back to their homes. I am there just for them and that makes a big difference,” says Norma.
Norma usually drives seniors who are in their late 80s and early 90s. Most live alone and don’t have family nearby who can be there to take them to see their doctor.
As much as they need a ride, I am more than a driver for them. Sometimes I am the only person they have a conversation with the entire week. They are often depressed and living alone, without someone to talk to.
When asked what she thinks some of her senior clients would have to do if Provide-A-Ride was not an option, she says:
I would have a bad feeling if they were trying to get a ride on a bus or a van and not given personal care. They need someone to guide them and to be with them.
This year Provide-A-Ride celebrates 20 years of providing care and support for our elderly low income seniors. Thousands of rides have been provided over the years, and hundreds of thousands of miles have been driven, but the number that matters the most is “one.”
One-on-one support. One day with a friend.
One more appointment they can keep with their doctors. One less lonely day.
To all of our volunteer drivers, thank you. You are the heart and soul of Provide-A-Ride.
To all of our clients—we will never just drop you off. We are here for you for more than just a ride.