The Drive a Senior Network’s continuing appeal to add volunteer drivers got a boost in October from stories by KVUE TV and the Austin American Statesman. News reporters from both newsrooms went on “drive-alongs” and interviewed riders and drivers about the benefits of the program.
The KVUE story aired on the 6 o’clock news October 11. The camera crew went along on a ride with Eileen Cossey, a Drive a Senior passenger since 2013 and volunteer driver Susan DeGraffenreid. Network drivers take Eileen to visit her husband in a care facility twice a week. The camera crew also attended a meeting where the magnitude of the issues facing live-at-home seniors who no longer drive came into clear focus. “In Central Texas we have one of the fastest-growing populations 65-75 in the country,” said network board member Mary Sue Clyne. The need is increasing. In 2015 Drive a Senior provided 29,800 rides. In just the first nine months of 2016, that number stands was more than 27,000.
(View the complete videocast.)
The Statesman article (Sunday, October 30) pointed out that monthly have gone up about 30 percent with a 20 percent increase in clients served since 2015. The article outlined some of the issues facing the Drive a Senior Network, including upgrades to some of the vans that are now in service and the need to add 250 volunteer drivers in 2017. The story also touched on the personal side of the Drive a Senior experience. “It’s very rewarding,” said board member Bill O’Brien, who also drives senior passengers three times a week. “The thanks you get is the most sincere you’ll get in your life. They really appreciate it.”
(See the full article.)