Archive for July, 2009

ITNBluegrass Volunteer Driver Trainings

July 29, 2009

July – August 2009

Dear Prospective Volunteer Driver,

This week, ITNBluegrass will give its 1,800th ride in Fayette County and we need drivers! The benefits for drivers are quite good and include a free ITNBluegrass membership to give to someone else plus mileage reimbursement and transportation credits. The best one, though, is the good feeling you get by helping others remain active and independent.

The majority of our rides are during the day M-F, but a growing number of customers are scheduling weekend and evening rides, so we can really use you no matter what your schedule is like!

Below is a list of upcoming Volunteer Driver trainings for July and August. Please consider attending one and learning more about how you can make a difference in the lives of people who no longer drive. As always, I can schedule individualized trainings if these days/times don’t work for you. If you know someone who might enjoy this type of volunteer opportunity*, please forward this post to him/her.

Thank you!


Laura Dake
Deputy Director

Volunteer Driver Trainings Sessions:

Monday, August 3 from 9:00-11:00 am
Saturday, August 15 from 8:30-10:30 am
Tuesday, August 18 from 9:00-11:00am
Wednesday, August 26 from 11:00am-1:00 pm

All trainings are in the conference room at the ITNBluegrass office, which is located at 436 Georgetown Street, in the LexLinc building next to Rally’s.

Please call Laura at 859.252.8665 to ask questions or to say you’ll attend. (Attending a training session does not obligate you to drive.)

Qualifications sought for volunteer drivers

  1. Valid KY driver’s license and three years driving experience.
  2. Acceptable record of safe driving and clean criminal history check.
  3. Proof of liability insurance for vehicle and current registration.
  4. Personal references from three non-relatives.
  5. Not taking drugs/medications that caution users against driving.
  6. Ability to lift wheelchairs and walkers, and carry packages up to 25 lbs.

Become a Friend of ITNBluegrass

July 29, 2009

From the Deputy Director, Laura Dake

As we look towards our first anniversary in September, we are gratified by the support received so far and the number of people who are getting out and enjoying life thanks in part to ITNBluegrass.  By the time you receive this newsletter we will have given more than 2,100 rides!  Wow!

Our work is far from over, however.  Rider-memberships and fares do not support the entirety of our operation.  Even when ITNBluegrass is economically sustainable – in about its fifth year of operations – just over half of its revenue will come from rider memberships and fares.  The remainder must come from local community support.  That’s where you come in.

Please consider becoming a Friend of ITNBluegrass.  With your tax-deductible gift of $50, you help us move towards sustainability as well as show your support for a program that melds both business and charitable elements to address a societal challenge.   There is a membership form and more information on benefits for Friends on the opposite page.  Let’s ensure that this wonderful program is still around when you are no longer driving!

To become a friend please fill in our Friends Form [pdf] and send it to:

436 Georgetown St
Lexington, KY 40508

Economy can’t stop the volunteer spirit

July 29, 2009

ANN S. KIM, Portland Press Herald

In Maine, and in the U.S., many charitable groups have seen a surge in volunteer applications. More and more volunteer applications are making their way into Carrie Burgin’s in-box.

Burgin, volunteer coordinator for Goodwill Industries of Northern NewEngland, estimates that their number has increased by at least a third over the past six months. She’s got a couple of theories about why this is happening during a recession. Some volunteers are looking to gain experience and explore new career possibilities. Others may feel secure about their employment but have a desire to contribute to the community during difficult times. “The numbers of applications are just increasing every month,” Burgin said.

The experience of the Portland-based nonprofit is in line with what other local organizations have seen. It also squares with new research released Tuesday by the Corporation for National and Community Service. The federal agency’s programs include AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and Learn and Serve America.

More than 39 percent of nonprofits surveyed reported that volunteer hours at their organizations increased in the period between September
2008 and March 2009, compared with the same period the year before. The number of hours remained the same for 44.6 percent.

Click here to read full article

Ride network caters to county seniors

July 21, 2009

Kalen Ponche, Suburban Journals

Sherry Hartz knew that at 85 her mother probably shouldn’t be driving anymore, but with a full-time job, Hartz couldn’t always be there to take her mother where she needed to go. At that time, Hartz was a social worker with St. Louis County. In May, she became executive director of the Independent Transportation Network St. Charles, a nonprofit organization that offers rides to seniors and the visually disabled at a reduced rate.

Click here to read a PDF of the story.

Liberty Mutual survey shows baby boomers reluctant to speak to aging parents about their driving, but that seniors are willing to talk

July 20, 2009

“Families should be having conversations now – before an incident occurs – with aging relatives about how to best map out transportation solutions that maintain their independence and dignity, yet keep them safe.” said Greg Gordon, senior vice president of Consumer Marketing at Liberty Mutual.

Click here to read full story.

Sandra Washington Show

July 14, 2009

Tempo News

Dr. Tanice Knopp wants to spread the word about a new program called ITNSarasota. Sophia Larusso, Chair of Outreach promotes that, “all of us know someone who is afraid to drive at night or should not be driving at all even during daytime hours. They know they should not be driving, but they are afraid to give their cars because driving means freedom and independence even at a risk.”

Click here to read the entire story.

Nonprofit service helps seniors retain mobility

July 12, 2009

Tanice Knopp, Herald-Tribune Guest Columnist

Recently a woman seeking ITNSarasota services indicated her eagerness for our program to begin. “You need to understand,” she said, “that this program will change my life.”

Click here to read the entire story.

Nonprofits Get a Boost From Uncle Sam

July 10, 2009

In April, President Obama signed into law the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, which establishes a new $50 million Social Innovation Fund aimed at helping nonprofits. The fund is designed to funnel money into nonprofits that cater to policy areas in line with the administration’s priorities, including education, health care and economic opportunity.

Click here to read full story.

Easy Riders: Driving service helps seniors get around easier

July 7, 2009

Since January, hundreds of trips have been made easier for local people 60 and older and adults with visual impairments through a new service.

Click here to read full story.

ITNBluegrass is patriotic!

July 5, 2009

It was a soggy July 4th morning in Lexington, Kentucky, but that didn’t dampen the spirits of the ladies from ITNBluegrass! Runners participating in the early morning “Bluegrass 10,000” and dozens of vendors and non-profits setting up their booths braved the rain, the latter group huddled under tents waving to the runners and each other.

About 11 a.m., the rain stopped and the day brightened, and many more people streamed downtown to enjoy Lexington’s annual festivities celebrating our nation’s independence, including concerts, children’s activities, food, arts and crafts and a parade followed in the evening by a large fireworks display. ITNBluegrass staff Gale Reece and Laura Dake and board member Donna Baker managed the ITN booth handing out brochures as well as information on upcoming volunteer driver trainings.

If you are interested in a unique volunteer opportunity and making a difference in the quality of someone’s life, please give us a call or send us an e-mail! We need YOU!

Deputy Director Laura Dake at the Fourth of July parade
Deputy Director Laura Dake at the Fourth of July parade