Have you been feeling lonely and isolated? Couldn’t go shopping freely; couldn’t visit friends and relatives; couldn’t go to appointments; couldn’t live the life you think you deserved? That’s two years of Covid restrictions! You have been hoping that this will all be over soon – and it may be – soon; for you – right? There is light at the end of the tunnel – right? Many Covid restrictions have already been relaxed or eliminated, or soon will be. But what if it was not going to be over soon? Would you feel bad about that? Would you be distressed, frustrated, discouraged, depressed, and maybe even angry? Of course you would, some people are already.
For a lot of our residents in New Brunswick, this has been their life for longer than the last two years, and it won’t be over soon even with vaccines and medications to fight Covid or whatever might come along to replace Covid.
You may be able to help solve this. Urban/Rural Rides provides rides to people at an affordable cost. Riders pay a small amount prorated based on their income, and some funding comes from grants and donations. The greatest support of this service comes from volunteer drivers providing their time for the rides. Drivers use their own vehicles and are reimbursed for operating costs. They require extra liability insurance that is also reimbursed. Knowing that the cost of fuel is so high, the organization reimburses volunteers for fuel costs for the drives.
Most drivers provide only a few rides per month. Drivers choose how many rides they are able to provide. There is no short notice to drop what you are doing to provide a ride. We do all the tough work since we have a skilled ride coordinator who matches drivers and riders. Help make her task easier by giving her a bigger pool of drivers. Drivers are asked a day or two in advance and can decline if it doesn’t suit their own schedule. During Covid restrictions, some drivers decided not to drive and that is OK, but some continued to drive clients to medical appointments, or they delivered supplies from food banks or stores to the clients while having no personal contact and following careful guidelines. Our program also provides approved masks and cleaning supplies.
These drives can be fun for the drivers, too. We know that many have developed a great camaraderie or friendship with their riders. Urban/Rural Rides, under various names, has expanded from a few rides per week a number of years ago to thousands of rides annually even during Covid (some restrictions apply) and we now cover all of Westmorland and Albert Counties with work in progress to expand farther into the province. Get ready Fredericton, here we come! To help the people in need we need your help. Drivers must pass a criminal record check and a driver certification, but most people qualify readily. Recently retired folks are especially helpful since they are capable of driving and this gives them a new purpose.
Will you show your true colours as a generous volunteer in New Brunswick? Will you volunteer or get more information to consider volunteering? Prove that the fine reputation of New Brunswick residents as helpful neighbours is well deserved. Call our ride Coordinator, Annie, at 962-3073 or our Executive Manager, Kelly, at 215-2100. Come on in and be part of the parade!
We are a registered charity and can accept financial donations with tax receipts if that is a consideration for you.