An anonymous donor gifted a van for the Ride Share Program, part of the Harford County Department of Community Services. Pictured from left to right: Karen Kennedy, Jeff King, Sarah Standiford, Barbara Fey, Marthea Proudfoot, Verneal Cooley, Charles Pumphrey, Bethly Guilbault and Bernadette Low.
From Harford County Government:
(Bel Air, MD) – – Several generous community members anonymously donated a van to the Department of Community Services’ Getting There Ride Share Program. The donation helps the program’s goal of erasing isolation and improving the quality of life for Harford County’s age-eligible seniors, especially in the more remote areas of the county. The Getting There Ride Share program serves seniors age 60 years and older residing in Harford County, primarily in the rural areas of Whiteford, Street, Darlington/Dublin, Pylesville, and Jarrettsville.
Getting There Ride Share provides affordable and reliable transportation service utilizing community volunteers and resources in order to help Harford County seniors remain active, maintain their independence, connect with others, and participate in more activities. The program also helps seniors remain consistent with their medical care. A taxi ride from the Whiteford area to Upper Chesapeake Medical Center can cost up to $70. The program’s service area is made up of over 600 households with an annual income of less than $40,000; most cannot afford the expense of a taxi ride to their medical appointments.
Getting There Ride Share has 17 volunteer drivers on the call list and has served nearly 100 passengers residing in Harford County. Since its inception, the program provided over 2,000 rides, traveling over 30,000 miles. To date in 2014, the program received over 350 ride requests (a 15% increase over last year); 86% of those requests fulfilled by volunteer drivers. Screened volunteer drivers provide transportation using their own insured vehicles.
Getting There Ride Share is accepting tax-deductible donations from businesses and individuals to their federally-licensed 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency. Contributions help supplement outgoing program expenses, and support a scholarship fund for people who do not have resources to pay for transportation. The roundtrip fee in a single zip code is $5 and $6 roundtrip in an adjacent zip code.
Organizers need volunteer drivers and coordinators to help provide transportation and ride requests. Getting There Ride Share is an organization within the Wilson Ministry Group. It’s funded through an MTA grant and receives financial support from numerous community groups. For more information about the Getting There Ride Share Program, or for those interested in donating or volunteering, contact 410-836-3005 or GTRS3005@gmail.com, or visit www.gettingthererideshare.org.