On Thursday, May 19th, Encore Motorcars hosted a Volunteer Recruitment Celebration for ITNSarasota, the Independent Transportation Network, a nonprofit organization providing dignified, affordable, individual transportation for all seniors over 60 and for visually impaired adults of any age. Thanks to Encore, guests were treated to a delicious catered meal and given the opportunity to visit with several ITNSarasota’s volunteer drivers. Interested guests learned why ITN volunteers find volunteer driving such a unique and rewarding experience. Volunteer driver Joanna Stevens said, “At least twice a week, I am able to help an older adult get around town. What’s special about ITN is that we take our riders anywhere they want to go. I have given rides to restaurants, hair salons, doctors’ offices and the grocery store. My riders are able to feel the same sense of independence they had when they were able to drive their own cars.”
“Thanks to Encore Motorcars, we have the potential for five new volunteer drivers for ITNSarasota which would make a huge positive difference for us,” said Donna Dunio, Executive Director. “Even some busy Encore employees signed-on when they learned how important our mission is in keeping the roads safe while enabling older residents to remain involved, healthy, active members of our community.”Dunio added, “ITN is more than a ‘good cause.’ It’s a necessary and innovative answer to enabling our seniors to regain some of the freedom they lost when they gave up their car keys. Our volunteer drivers make this happen. When we thank them, they tell us it’s the most rewarding type of volunteering they’ve ever done.”
“We are deeply appreciative to our new partners at Encore Motorcars and thank George Manooshian, Jr., owner, for sponsoring this Volunteer Recruitment Celebration and the entire Encore team for all they’re doing to help us promote and fulfill our mission,” ITNSarasota Board Chair Art Mahoney said. “Volunteer drivers are our lifeblood; they make the mission happen. And volunteer driving is so much fun; I know because I’m a volunteer driver!”
ITNSarasota is one of 21 affiliates in communities nationwide that replicates the successful nonprofit membership organization launched in Portland, Maine nearly 20 years ago. ITNSarasota is one of the fastest growing non-profits in Sarasota County. For ITN to fulfill its nonprofit mission, it needs volunteer drivers. The fees paid by riders provide about 30 percent of the cost of the ride and the remaining 70 percent is covered through fundraising efforts.
For more information on how you can become a Volunteer Driver, donate a car or make a tax-deductible gift to ITNSarasota, please call (941) 364-7530 or visit www.itnsarasota.org.
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