Volunteer drivers needed to help transport sick

“Make a difference: Lend a hand—make a friend.”
That’s the motto of the new volunteer driver program, sponsored by the local chapter of the Canadian Cancer Society and “Community Chest,” which Linda Hamilton briefly spoke about Sunday night at the annual benefit dinner at La Place Rendez-Vous.
The “Community Chest” and Canadian Cancer Society have been fortunate over the past few years to have some of these services now available closer to home (such as the dialysis unit at La Verendrye Hospital), noted Hamilton. However, many people throughout the district do not have the ability or means to transport themselves or their loved one to and from a point of care.
Sometimes simply getting treatment can be a difficult and overwhelming task, especially when facing physical or financial challenges, Hamilton added.
Minimal or insufficient travel grants do not go very far in helping families, especially with a small child, to overcome the loneliness and helplessness of getting themselves, or taking a family member, to a treatment centre.
Being a volunteer driver is an opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life, said Hamilton.
A volunteer driver’s job is to pick up patients from their homes and take them to their local hospital or regional treatment centre for specialized care. When their treatment is done, the driver will make sure to get them home safely.
According to the information pamphlet put out by the program, volunteer drivers will receive:
•specific training sessions to help them feel comfortable lending a hand;
•financial re-imbursement to cover their travel expenses; and
•lifelong rewards helping to provide support services for families and friends living with a life-threatening illness.
Evelyn Rawn is the program co-ordinator while Davetta Sheppard is treasurer.
To find out more about the volunteer driver program, or to get involved, call Rawn (274-9462) or Sheppard (274-4997).