ITNMontereyCounty was honored to be interviewed on Brickman Banter. To reach the ITNMontereyCounty portion of the interview please begin about 30 minutes in.
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Transportation is a key ingredient to help insure that Monterey County senior citizens maintain their independence. On Aug.5, BMW Manager Paul Giovino hosted the 25,000th ride of ITN Monterey with Executive Director of ITN Aimee Cuda at his dealership in the Seaside Auto Mall.
Independent Transportation Network/Monterey County (ITN) strives to meet the Monterey County seniors’ needs and those efforts were celebrated on Aug. 5 at the BMW Seaside location. BMW Manager Paul Giovino provided the space to hold the celebration.
In the tradition and the requirement of ITN’s program, Beach was picked up at her door and taken to the door of her destination, Seaside.
This unique service is not only about transportation but building friendships and helping to keep independence for seniors and the visually impaired. You can become a member completing an online application or download and mail on to us.
Recently, ITNMontereyCounty had a member sign on who needed the service only for a couple of months while he recovered from open heart surgery.
HE’S GIVEN 3,500 rides to people over the last four years, but he’s not a cabbie, nor is he an Uber kind of guy. Jeff Craig is a volunteer with ITN Monterey County — the Independent Transportation Network — which helps seniors and those with vision problems with low-cost rides.
Craig said volunteer drivers use their own cars and the service, which is operated on a membership basis, is available on-demand or by pre-planned appointment. Seniors frequently use it for medical visits, but they can use it for anything else, like visiting the grocery store or taking classes at MPC. Craig said the second-most-popular destination is the beauty salon. He’s been driving for the nonprofit since 2012 and is currently the chair of its board.
There are more than 50 volunteers and 300 member-riders, and Craig said they give an average of 50 rides a day, most of them less than four or five miles. The bulk of the rides occur Monday through Friday.
ITN Monterey County provides rides to seniors 24-hours a day, 7-days a week in nearly every community in the county. To date, their volunteers have given over 25,000 safe passages to our elderly citizens who have age-related issues that don’t allow them to drive safely. Congressman Sam Farr and other local elected officials come to BMW of Monterey to join ITN, some party-minded seniors and snacks from Eddison & Melrose Tea Room to mark the milestone. ITN receives zero public funding and depends on donations and good people to keep this vital service running.
The Independent Transportation Network Monterey County has been awarded a $10,000 matching grant from the Harden Foundation. All donations will be matched dollar for dollar up to $10,000.
The purpose of the grant is to continue providing rides for seniors and visually impaired adults. Community members that would like to contribute to this worthy cause can donate at itnmontereycounty.org or by mailing donations to ITN Monterey County, 5 Harris Court, Building A, Monterey, CA 93940.
Jon Brandt of Salinas gives rides in his car to elderly or blind people who cannot drive. Brandt is a volunteer driver for the Independent Transportation Network (ITN) that provides more than 270 automobile rides a week in Monterey County. Brandt says he volunteers to show respect to seniors. “I meet so many interesting people,” Brandt said. “I enjoy it.”
Aimee Cuda is the director ITN Monterey County. “Our clients get rides to every kind of errand, from doctor visits to social events.” One client even gets a ride to and from her job every day. “The ITN ride service is available 24 hours a day, every day of the year,” Cuda said, A ride must be arranged before 2 p.m. on the day before it is needed. ITN provides arm-through-arm service, not just door to door. “Our drivers make sure the clients gets to their destinations with dignity and safety,” said Cuda.
Seniors, generally speaking, are not early adopters of new technology. While many older folks may be using email, Facebook or a smartphone, most are of the “why bother” mindset and resist new inventions.
There is, however, one technological development that has many seniors excited, and here’s why:
Aging seems to present unending opportunities to give something up. An older runner stops running because of a bad hip; a well-liked home is sold because the stairs become too difficult to navigate; friends, family and beloved pets die. Finally, one of the most difficult things to give up — our driver’s license – will be taken away because we can no longer safely drive. A driver’s license represents freedom – the ability to come and go as we please and without it, seniors can lose the opportunity to socialize, shop on their own or lunch at a favorite restaurant. Losing all of this “life” often translates into isolation and, unfortunately, depression and loneliness.
The 2015 Senior Day Resource Fair at the Turf Club at the Monterey County Fair is set for 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 3. Seniors 62 years or older get free admission to the fair.
This fun event connects seniors with more than 35 community and senior services, with free event bags, give-aways, live entertainment, health screenings, computer help, travel services, coffee and snacks, senior information, and a farmers’ market.
The Resource Fair is sponsored by Central Coast Senior Services, Monterey-Salinas Transit, Alliance On Aging and Legal Services For Seniors.
The line-up of governmental, nongovernmental, and nonprofit agencies taking an opportunity to inform the public about safety during Community Safety Saturday is dazzling.
The event, sponsored by Capital Insurance Group (CIG) for the third year, continues to grow and attract concerned parents, community members and kids who just want to have fun.
Community Safety Saturday will take place from 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Oct. 10 at the Monterey County Fair & Event Center, 2004 Fairground Road, Monterey. This is a free, family friendly event devoted to teaching the public about safety.