Archive for 2014

Transportation is vital

December 31, 2014

Daily American, Somerset, Pa. Friday, December 26, 2014.

Transportation is vital, Daily American, Somerset, PA

WANTED: Somerset County residents who need or can give a ride

December 19, 2014

Online survey participants have until Jan. 31 to respond and will be entered into several drawings for $20 Giant Eagle gift card

Somerset, Penn., Dec. 17, 2014 – We have extended the deadline on the Somerset County community mobility survey to Jan. 31, 2015, which means there is still a chance to win one of several $20 Giant Eagle gift cards. The survey will quantify our transportation opportunities, and help to identify solutions to Somerset County’s rural mobility challenges. The deadline has been extended in an effort to gather 100 more responses and ensure a complete and robust analysis of Somerset County’s mobility gaps.

Many Somerset County residents face serious barriers to the most basic standards of living, never mind quality of life because they don’t have cars or the means to drive themselves where they need to go. That’s why the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies and Behavioral HealthServices of Somerset and Bedford Counties, Inc., together with the Somerset County Foundation, have joined forces with ITNAmerica® to organize a community survey that launched in October. The survey was further supported by a community forum that was covered by The Tribune-Democrat on Nov. 5 at the Area Agency on Aging of Somerset County in Somerset.

At the forum, ITNAmerica® Founder and President Katherine Freund spoke about ITNEverywhere, which the research effort in Somerset County supports. The 20-year-old Independent Transportation Network (ITN), is six years into research and development of ITNEverywhere, a non-profit marketplace concept that would expand mobility options by allowing people to share their private transportation resources.

“It’s a pretty simple concept. We have vehicles and we have people who need rides. And in rural communities, we have rich community spirit. ITNEverywhere is about how we put it all together,” said Freund.

Take our survey – win a Giant Eagle Gift Card!
This community forum kicked off a more comprehensive research effort involving residents of Somerset County. All residents in the greater Somerset County area who are 18 or older in age are invited to take an online survey to help us build a case for change. The survey link is: The survey will remain live until Jan. 31, 2015. All participants in the survey will automatically be entered into a drawing for one of several $20 Giant Eagle gift cards.

About Katherine Freund
Katherine Freund is a national expert on transportation solutions for America’s rapidly growing community of aging baby boomers who can no longer drive. She has been featured on C-Span and in the New York Times, Forbes and Consumer Reports. In 2008, The Wall Street Journal named her “One of 12 People who are Changing Your Retirement.”

About ITNAmerica and ITNEverywhere
The ITNEverywhere vision is create a non-profit virtual marketplace, to be to community mobility what eBay is to flea markets. ITNAmerica® has conducted six years of research to quantify the need and viability of the ITNEverywhere concept. Now ITN is actively seeking a sponsor to fund the IT solution that will power this non-profit marketplace for sharing private transportation. Interested sponsors may contact Heidi Farber.

ITNAmerica® is the nation’s only non-profit, community-based transportation program serving senior citizens and the visually impaired with door-through-door, arm-in-arm service. ITN began as a single transportation service in Portland, Maine nearly 20 years ago and has since grown into a network of 27 affiliated communities in 21 states from coast to coast.

Car trade eases mind, reduces costs and helps the community

December 19, 2014

A 95-year-old man who can no longer drive was thrilled when his daughter
suggested trading his low-mileage Lexus for rides with

SARASOTA, Fla. – Dec. 19, 2014 – Carol Sadler’s 95-year-old father has not driven for a few years, but his car has remained in his garage, incurring registration and insurance costs so that his caretakers could use it to run his errands. When the registration recently came up for renewal again, Carol called her father from her home in Washington, D.C. to suggest that it might be time to get rid of the car. They quickly agreed and decided that they wanted to donate the car to a good cause.

“So, I Googled charities in Sarasota to see who would take a car donation. When ITNSarasota came up in the search result, my dad and I agreed that this seemed like a wonderful thing for the organization and a fabulous thing for my dad,” said Carol.

Carol helps her dad with major decisions and did her due diligence by calling ITNSarasota (Independent Transportation Network) Executive Director Arthur Lerman. “I instantly felt like I had known Arthur for years,” she said. “I could tell he was someone who believes in the mission of his organization.”

Arthur and Carol settled on ITN’s CarTrade program, whereby Carol’s father (who wishes to remain anonymous) has earned several thousand dollars of mileage credit in his ITN account (reflecting the value of the Lexus ITNSarasota sold on his behalf). This is mileage credit he can use to stay independent and active in the community.

“These types of donations and car trades are very important to ITNSarasota because without them we cannot continue to serve the community,” said Arthur. “ITN is happy to be a resource in finding the right solution for families who are wrestling with the tough decision of giving up the keys.”

ITN accepts cars in two ways: the CarTrade program that allows a person to trade a car for mileage credit on an eligible rider’s account, or straightforward car donations, which are especially popular during the holiday giving season and for tax credit purposes.

About the ITN’s CarTrade and Car Donation programs
ITN’s CarTrade program allows a person to trade a car for mileage credit on an eligible rider’s account. Car Donations are also accepted through ITN, to support its nonprofit work while affording donors a tax deduction. Learn more about ITNSarasota‘s CarTrade and Car Donation programs online at Not in Florida? ITNAmerica has Car Trade and Car Donation programs in several communities nationwide. Learn more at:

About ITNAmerica
ITNAmerica® is America’s only national, non-profit, community-based transportation service for older people and people with visual impairments, providing door-through-door and arm-through-arm service. ITN began as a single transportation service in Portland, Maine nearly 20 years ago and has since grown into a network of 27 affiliated communities in 21 states from coast to coast. Learn more online at

Media contacts:

ITNAmerica: Lisa Wolff, Marketing & Communications Manager, 207-591-6942
ITNSarasota: Arthur Lerman, Executive Director

ITNCharlestonTrident and ITNLehighValley earn national recognition for volunteerism and excellence in operations

December 19, 2014

Volunteer of the Year demonstrates commitment
by donating nearly half of his $500 prize back to

CHARLESTON, S.C. and BETHLEHEM, Penn. — Dec. 19, 2014 – ITNAmerica, the only national nonprofit providing dignified transportation for older and visually impaired people, is proud to announce the winners of its national annual awards for volunteerism and excellence in operations.

Dick Giffen, a volunteer driver and founding Board Member for ITNCharlestonTrident, received the 2014 Max and Helen Israelite Volunteer of the Year Award for the 8 years of dedicated volunteerism and thought leadership he has brought to the South Carolina-based ITN.

“Dick has been, and continues to be, a valuable asset to ITNCharlestonTrident in his capacity of volunteer driver, member of the ITNCharlestonTrident Volunteer Committee, and member of the Board of Directors,” said ITNCharlestonTrident Executive Director Jim Ledbetter. “Dick brings professionalism, respect for seniors, and a willingness to help that goes above and beyond expectations to his interaction with member riders, volunteers and the paid staff of ITNCharlestonTrident.”

As a testament to his commitment to ITN, Dick immediately donated $200 of his $500 award back to ITNAmerica. “Truthfully, this act of kindness was not so surprising to me since I have seen evidence of your generous nature many, many times over the years,” said ITNAmerica founder and president Katherine Freund. “It is people like you that make me so proud of this organization. You make a real difference in peoples’ lives and have been a valued leader in bringing ITN service to others across the country.”

Karen And Adele Durgin Award

Karen Shiavone (left) receives the award from ITNLehighValley Board Chair Adele Bon Shannon (right).

Karen Shiavone, Operations Manager for ITNLehighValley, received the 2014 Karl Durgin Award for her commitment to operational excellence and customer service. Karen was part of ITNLehighValley from the day the Pennsylvania-based ITN affiliate gave its first ride in October 2013.

“Patience, tact, humor and unfailing courtesy describe Karen’s interactions with both riders and volunteers each and every day, and are a tribute to her respect and genuine concern for those we serve,” said Lois Favier, Executive Director of ITNLehighValley. “The first year success of ITNLehighValley and glowing customer feedback for our ride service would not have been possible without Karen’s dedication and unrivaled work ethic.”

Dick and Karen were among hundreds of volunteers and dozens of ITN staff members eligible for these annual awards.

Media inquiries:
ITNAmerica: Lisa Wolff, Marketing & Communications Manager, 207-591-6942
ITNCharlestonTrident: Jim Ledbetter, Executive Director
ITNLehighValley: Lois Favier, Executive Director

About ITNAmerica
ITNAmerica® is America’s only national, non-profit, community-based transportation service for older people and people with visual impairments, providing door-through-door and arm-through-arm service. ITN began as a single transportation service in Portland, Maine nearly 20 years ago and has since grown into a network of 27 affiliated communities in 21 states from coast to coast. Learn more online at

About the Max & Helen Israelite Volunteer of the Year Award
The Max and Helen Israelite Volunteer of the Year Award was created by their children, Larry and Neita, to honor their parent’s memory and commitment to Tzedakah, the belief in righteousness and charity. Max Israelite was a founding Board member for ITNPortland, the first ITN affiliate established 20 years ago in June 2015.

About the Karl Durgin Award for Excellence in Operations Award
The Karl Durgin Award for Excellence in Operations Award was created to recognize dedication to the mission of serving older people – a spirit that Karl brought to his long-standing position with ITN every day. This award recognizes the human qualities that are at the heart of the ITN brand: relating to members and their families in a kind and caring manner, problem solving, maintaining a positive attitude, and consistently upholding the efforts colleagues and the ITN mission.

Letter to the Editor from Katherine Freund: Senior Transportation

December 17, 2014

I was pleased to see Len Kaye’s Dec. 9 BDN OpEd on senior transportation policy. Victor Hugo said, “Greater than the tread of mighty armies is an idea whose time has come.” Perhaps it is finally the time for sustainable senior transportation in Maine.

Twenty years ago, with help from the Southern Maine Agency on Aging and the Federal Transit Administration, we launched in greater Portland the Independent Transportation Network, a public private effort that created senior transportation sustained by reasonable fares from riders and diversified, voluntary local community support.

Read the full article online here

New Transportation Service For Seniors Available In Memphis

December 12, 2014

Fox13 ITNMemphisYou don’t have to wait until Black Friday to find a deal for the seniors in your life. Fox 13’s Earle Farrell has just the thing.

I-T-N, the Independent Transportation Network is coming to Memphis.

No more taking off work to get parents or grandparents back and forth to doctor or hair appointments. ITNMemphis offers door to door service.

“It’s for seniors and the visually impaired. And in the Memphis area we’re defining seniors as people over 60. And anyone who is over 18, who’s visually impaired, it will take people in those categories anywhere they want to go 24/7,” says Pat Hickman, Operations Manager at ITN.

Watch the video online here

Senior transportation service now operating in Memphis

December 12, 2014

In early 2011, an official with a fledgling nonprofit transportation organization in Memphis talked about a plan to provide rides for older people who don’t drive.

The organization, ITNMemphis, would offer them — as well as people with visual impairments — economical, around-the-clock transportation in a car, he said.

At the time, ITNMemphis had obtained a state charter, a sponsoring organization and was raising money. The optimistic official said the company planned what he called a soft opening in about four months.

That four months grew into years.

ITNMemphis finally had its opening last month and now is providing transportation for older non-drivers and the visually impaired.

Read the full article online here

Effort started to provide volunteer-based transportation for seniors

November 20, 2014

Charlotte Melson

Charlotte Melson is looking for a few good drivers.

“There is a huge need for older adult transportation,” Melson, executive director of ITNGreaterKansasCity, said last week at an Independence Ministerial Alliance luncheon.

ITN, or the Independent Transportation Network, was started in Portland, Maine, in 1996, and has spread to 27 other cities. ITNGreaterKansasCity started last year in Lee’s Summit, and Melson, with an office at the Ennovation Center in Independence, is looking to expand in Independence next.

Read the full article online here

ITNAmerica Finalist in Competition

November 17, 2014

 abc* Foundation Continuity Forum Logo

ITNAmerica is one of 23 finalists lined up to present before the abc* Foundation Continuity Forum, an event for leaders implementing smart, sustainable and replicable solutions to large-scale problems. ITN Founder and President Katherine Freund will deliver a proposal for a National Volunteer Driver Campaign at the forum in Miami on Nov. 13 and 14.

From the 23 presentations, abc* will select three winners to receive $100,000 each and two years of marketing and communications support to design and launch their program. If selected, ITN’s program would be supported by a full-time national coordinator position to be able to increase rides for our senior and visually impaired customers by increasing volunteer driver recruitment, retention, and rewards programming.

Read the full article online here

Stories from war: honoring our veterans

November 12, 2014

Stories from war: honoring our veterans

Bronze star recipient Major Harold Jellison discusses his experience as a marine during the war and earning the bronze star.

Watch the video online here