Archive for 2007

Giffen nominated for Jefferson Award

December 30, 2007

Dick Giffen, former Executive Director of ITNCharlestonTrident, has been nominated for the Jefferson Awards — founded in 1972 as a Nobel Prize for public and community service. Dick is among six honorees selected from the local group for consideration for the national award. One finalist travels to Washington DC to represent the Post and Courier Jefferson Awards.

You can read more about Dick by clicking here.

Congratulations to Dick for being recognized for all his hard work on behalf of older Americans.

ITNAmerica featured in Report to the President

December 27, 2007

Washington, D.C.

ITNAmerica was featured in The Small Business Economy: A Report to the President, an annual series used by policymakers, academics, librarians, and others to learn more about small firms.

ITNAmerica is one of eight examples of social entrepreneurship included in a chapter by Andrew Wolk of Root Cause titled “Social Entrepreneurship and Government: A New Breed of Entrepreneurs Developing Solutions to Social Problems.”

Chad Moutray, Ph.D, Chief Economist & Director of Economic Research for the Small Business Administration, said, “Congratulations on being on the leading edge of this exciting phenomenon!”

Wolk, a senior lecturer in social entrepreneurship at MIT, describes social entrepreneurship as emerging at the nexus of the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Innovation is a key role of the private sector; providing public goods and services is a role of government; and engaging individuals in action to achieve social goals is a role of the nonprofit sector. Social entrepreneurship has emerged where these roles intersect.

Wolk’s chapter represents one of the first explorations of the relationship between social entrepreneurship and government, and each case study showed a social-entrepreneurial initiative responding to some type of market failure, ranging from older Americans who must choose between their safety and their mobility, to building high-quality playgrounds in underserved communities.

Seven other specific programs used as case studies illustrating social entrepreneurial approaches include City Year, Benetech, KaBOOM!, New Leaders for New Schools, Resolve to Stop the Violence Program, Outside the Classroom, and Triangle Resident Options for Substance Abusers, Inc.

The chapter above can be found at

Look Who’s Driving Now…

December 19, 2007

…AAA Northern New England’s Matt McKenzie

Matthew McKenzie

December 19, 2007 (Westbrook, ME) — AAA Northern New England’s Vice President Matthew McKenzie volunteered to drive seniors for ITNPortland‘s Look Who’s Driving Now campaign. The program puts the spotlight on senior mobility and the unique nonprofit service that provides dignified rides 24/7 in private automobiles in the Greater Portland area.

ITN uses volunteer drivers to provide 25-40 percent of the 17,000 rides they provide annually to seniors and the visually impaired. Volunteer drivers help keep the cost of providing transportation to ITN members affordable. The ride fares cover only approximately half the true expense of the service. Community support makes up the rest.

Volunteers receive mileage reimbursement for part of the ride and transportation credits for the rest. The credits can be saved for the volunteer’s own future use, transferred to a loved one, or donated to a low-income senior through the Road Scholarship Program.

For more information on volunteering, or if someone you know needs the service, please call 854-0505 or visit

Holiday Party with generous support from Sentry Buick

December 18, 2007

ITNCharlestonTrident provided rides to nine members to attend the Christmas Party at the “Echo House” a small neighborhood senior center operated by the local Catholic Charities. They routinely provide rides to these same members every Tuesday and Friday.

With a larger than usual number of riders going to the same location, we utilized a full size GMC passenger van loaned to us for occasion by our partner automobile dealership, Harold Arnold’s Sentry Buick Pontiac GMC Inc.

Reverend Dick Giffen receives the “Seniors Count: Outstanding Older South Carolinian 2007 Award”

December 12, 2007

Reverend Dick Giffen receives the “Seniors Count: Outstanding Older South Carolinian 2007 Award,” presented by Director of the South Carolina Office on Aging Curtis Loftis, on behalf of Lt. Governor André Bauer. The presentation took place on December 12 at the Harbour Club in Charleston during the ITNCharlestonTrident Holiday Social, sponsored by Paul and Barbara Franklin. Dick is the former executive director of ITNCharlestonTrident and a board member of ITNAmerica.

Reverend Dick Giffen received the "Seniors Count: Outstanding Older South Carolinian 2007 Award"
Reverend Dick Giffen received the “Seniors Count: Outstanding Older South Carolinian 2007 Award”

Franklins dedicated to helping aged

December 9, 2007

Reprinted from an article by Prentiss Findlay
The Post and Courier

You’re not likely to find senior citizens Paul and Barbara Franklin rocking on the porch, but you might see them running on the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge or pumping iron at the gym.

If they ache afterward they might take a Bayer aspirin, because that’s the company where they met more than two decades ago. The job that brought them together, resulting in a second marriage for both, also brought them here. Now retired, they’re as busy as ever working to bring an array of services to senior citizens aimed at keeping them in their homes as long as possible.

Paul Franklin founded the South Carolina Aging in Place Coalition.
Paul Franklin founded the South
Carolina Aging in Place Coalition.
Photo by Jessey Dearing, The Post and Courier

Four years ago, Paul Franklin, 65, founded the South Carolina Aging In Place Coalition, which consists of about 75 organizations dedicated to helping seniors plan for aging. The Franklins, who have traveled the world from Antarctica to Iceland, are at the forefront of meeting a growing demand by Lowcountry seniors for safe and reliable transportation to nearby destinations such as the doctor’s office or the grocery store.

An offshoot of the Aging In Place Coalition, ITNCharlestonTrident matches a network of mostly volunteer drivers with the needs of seniors looking for help getting to their destination and back again. In its first year, ITNCharlestonTrident has provided more than 3,300 rides for people 65 years and older, the majority of them to medical appointments. Demand for the service is booming, and more drivers are needed.

The catalyst for the coalition was the Franklins’ experience with the long-term illness of Barbara Franklin’s father, who died from Alzheimer’s disease. Her mother worked hard to keep her husband in the home as long as possible, but eventually an institution was the only feasible alternative.

“We saw a need for a coalition of providers that could step in and help families in these types of situation. That’s really what stimulated us to get the coalition together,” Paul Franklin said.

The Franklins married in 1985 in Pittsburgh; Bayer brought them here in 1987. Paul has two sons by his first marriage, ages 39 and 37. The older son and a grandson live here. Barbara is 59 and has no children. After retiring, the Franklins started Franklin and Associates, a long-term care planning and finance firm, and Franklin Funding, which specializes in reverse mortgages.

The Aging In Place Coalition is a network of for-profit, not-for-profit, government agencies and medical institutions designed to help seniors live safely, comfortably and independently in their homes. ITNCharlestonTrident started on Nov. 15, 2006. The transportation network happened because Paul Franklin, coalition chairman, joined with other coalition members to look for a solution to the transportation needs of the elderly and the visually impaired.

ITNCharlestonTrident is an independent, mostly volunteer-driven transportation network serving Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester counties 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Although most of its trips are for doctor’s appointments, participants also can get a lift to the grocery store, beauty salon, pharmacy or the movies. Franklin described the service as “dignified transportation.”

The annual membership fee for the service is $35 per person, and arrangements are made for those who can’t afford the fees, Franklin said.

Franklin said independence and control are vital issues for seniors. “The aging don’t want to count on friends and family to take them everywhere,” he said.

Franklin said the coalition is an information clearinghouse for seniors wanting help with a variety of issues such as healthy lifestyle, a safe and secure residence, legal and financial advice, supportive relationships and transportation.

The coalition focus is planning for aging, rather than waiting until a health crisis hits, he said. “If your ideal retirement home is under your feet it won’t happen by accident. When a crisis comes your options are limited,” he said.

ITNCharlestonTrident operates a fleet of donated cars and employs part-time drivers for late-night transport when volunteers are not available. The agency matches the schedules of volunteer drivers to the needs of the elderly.

City of San Diego

October 19, 2007

San Diego, CA–

L-R Chuck Overbey, Project Coordinator, City of San Diego Councilman Brian Maienschein, Kim Gibbens, Executive Director, SDCB, Floyd Willis, San Diego County Aging and Independence Services.

Check presentation of $65,000 from the City of San Diego to the San Diego Center for the Blind, sponsoring agency for ITNSanDiego. Pictured (left to right) are Chuck Overbey, Project Coordinator, City of San Diego Councilman Brian Maienschein, Kim Gibbens, Executive Director, SDCB, Floyd Willis, San Diego County Aging and Independence Services.

New transportation program aimed at seniors

October 16, 2007

Deirdre Cox Baker, Quad City Times

Click here to read a PDF of the story.

Congratulations to Executive Director Jim Ledbetter and ITNCharlestonTrident

October 5, 2007

ITNCharlestonTrident received a “Shining Star” from the South Carolina Aging In Place Coalition during their “High Tea” held October 5.

Over 130 people attended the event to acknowledge organizations that represent “shining examples” of the kinds of resources and services that are available to help seniors age in place successfully.

The nomination letter below tells a story that takes place in South Carolina, but “Carol E.” could live anywhere. Her predicament shows how critical ITN services are to our growing population of older Americans.

Shining Star nomination letter:

Carol E. will admit that she had it all: two vacation homes, good health and enough money to support herself comfortably. However, after a serious accident left her with a fractured leg and hip problem, her security vanished.

While physical ailments and emotional strain tested Carol, her financial situation became overwhelming when her car was stolen and the hospital bills came rolling in. With her transportation gone and injuries that left her immobile, her two houses were foreclosed on and she faced the threat of moving into assisted living.

Struggling to stay independent, Carol purchased a small trailer and signed up for the Meals on Wheels program. Unfortunately, because of the location, she was unable find reliable transportation. With her age and injuries, the bus stops were too far away and the over-sized steps too difficult to manage. She had long since exhausted the help her friends were able to provide. Essentially, she was trapped and her independence was slowly slipping away.

Carol received disability checks but had no way to get to the bank to cash them. They were piling up and useless as she became a prisoner in her home. Her trailer was left unfurnished because she had no way to shop. Her lack of transportation was a great encumbrance to maintaining the independent, quality lifestyle that she desired. In fact, her independence was quickly washing away.

Then Carol learned about ITNCharlestonTrident, an innovative program designed to meet the transportation needs of seniors and the visually impaired. After using the service, Carol called to say that ITNCharlestonTrident made it possible for her to furnish her house and do the daily things that make living worthwhile. She even noted that the “Meals on Wheels ladies” commented on the difference they saw in her demeanor.

Carol is just one of many examples of ITNCharlestonTrident helping to give the Lowcountry’s senior community the freedom and independence necessary to enjoy a positive quality of life by providing individualized and dignified transportation in private cars.

Jim Ledbetter, Executive Director (third from left)
Jim Ledbetter, Executive Director (third from left)

Katherine Freund visits Connecticut

September 22, 2007

Katherine Freud, Executive Director and Founder of ITNAmerica recently visited North Central Connecticut to speak about the Independent Transportation Network® (ITN) for individuals age 60 or over, as well as those who are visually impaired, which will soon be up and running within a ten-town service area in north Central Connecticut. The communities that will benefit from ITNNorthCentralConnecticut include Bloomfield, East Granby, East Windsor, Enfield, Granby, Somers, South Windsor, Suffield, Windsor and Windsor Locks.

Community presentations were held in the towns of Bloomfield, Enfield, and South Windsor. Residents from all ten towns had the opportunity to hear first hand the benefits of the transportation network. ITNNorthCentralConnecticut will be the first in Connecticut to become an affiliate of ITNAmerica, a non-profit, community-safety program that provides cars and drivers 24 hours a day, seven days a week for senior citizens living in communities across the nation, including those in California, Kentucky, Maine, Illinois, Iowa, Florida, and South Carolina.

ITNNorthCentralConnecticut is targeted to begin operations in early 2008. Organizers are now seeking monetary donations, car donations, volunteer drivers and community partners to help ensure the program’s success. To find out how you can support ITNNorthCentralConnecticut, to volunteer or to sign-on as a member rider, please call Chris Casey at (860) 698-6267.

Kathy Freund with members of the ITNNorthCentralConnecticut Board of Directors and Project Coordinator Chris Casey during her visit to Connecticut. (l to r) Lucy Peoples, Betsy Burns, Alice Egan, Pam Brown, Susan Lather, Kathy Freund, Betsy Hope, Fran Walenta, Gil Hayes, Chris Casey, Marcia Hess.

Kathy Freund with members of the ITNNorthCentralConnecticut Board of Directors and Project Coordinator Chris Casey during her visit to Connecticut. (l to r) Lucy Peoples, Betsy Burns, Alice Egan, Pam Brown, Susan Lather, Kathy Freund, Betsy Hope,  Fran Walenta, Gil Hayes, Chris Casey, Marcia Hess.