Hello. I am so excited to be writing my first blog post! I am new to blogging, but eager to share my Red Cross experiences. I am a volunteer Community Transportation driver for the American Red Cross, and have been driving seniors and people with disabilities to medical appointments for about a year and a half. I typically volunteer one day a week. My family and I moved to Columbus two years ago from Indianapolis, where I had volunteered with the American Cancer Society’s Road to Recovery program which provides transportation for cancer patients to and from treatments. When I moved to Columbus the ACS did not offer that program here but I still wanted to do something along this line. I did an internet search and found the Red Cross Community Transportation program. After training I began volunteering one half day each week. I really enjoyed the work and quickly transitioned to one full day. The nice thing about a volunteer job is that if you are busy you can adjust your schedule, which works out well for me because my husband and I are empty-nesters now and get to travel quite a bit so this volunteer opportunity gives me flexibility.
The job of Community Transportation driver entails picking up clients throughout Franklin County and taking them to and from their appointments. It is not hard at all. I get my schedule the night before and use Mapquest to map out my routes for the day. Some volunteers use their own GPS to get around and some have been doing it so long they just refer to a map if they are not familiar with a specific address. Most of our clients are going to some type of medical appointment be it dialysis, radiation, chemotherapy or just a regular doctor’s appointment. We also take people to the grocery, bank or other places they need to get to but can’t drive themselves. Many of our clients are senior citizens but not all. I have found them all to be very interesting to talk to and they are always very appreciative. One of the great benefits of this job is the Red Cross provides you a vehicle to drive so you don’t have to use your own vehicle. In previous volunteer experiences I had to use my own car, which took its toll. The Red Cross uses mid-sized cars which are easy to drive and all have that famous Red Cross logo on the side. It is amazing how much the clients love seeing me pull up with the big Red Cross on the door. That one symbol makes them feel safe and allows them to relax, knowing they are in good hands.
If you know someone who has difficulty making it to appointments or someone whose family members have to take time off of work to get them to appointments then this program might work for them. Click here to learn more.