Posts Tagged ‘Volunteers’

The News Record: Class connects students with Cincinnati’s aging population

April 1, 2015
Lisa Ventre - University of Cincinnati

Lisa Ventre - University of Cincinnati

Through a new course offered by the Center of Service-Learning and Civic Engagement, University of Cincinnati students are serving the community and connecting with a demographic they may not usually think about: the elderly.

The Driving Community Connections course allows students to volunteer to drive aging adults around the Cincinnati area. The program, which began this semester, also gives students the opportunity to learn about the service industry.

“There are a lot of things we just don’t understand about aging because we’re all too young,” said Michael Sharp, director of the Center of Service-Learning and Civic Engagement. “With this program, we can teach students about engaging with the elderly.”

Read the full article online here

Saint Therese Foundation: Driving Independence

March 31, 2015

Saint Therese recently became a member of the Independent Transportation Network or iTN Twin Cities. iTN is a transportation alternative for older adults who can no longer drive. iTN provides rides in
personal vehicles 24-hours a day, 365 days a year, with drivers who are trained to ensure safety and comfort. All rides are coordinated through iTN with the support of volunteer drivers.

“Available and reliable transportation is a key factor in maintaining independence for older adults,” said Barb Rode, President & CEO of Saint Therese. “Support from iTN provides our residents and tenants, as well as their family members, another reliable option to get to appointments, to visit with friends or to simply run some errands.”

Saint Therese and Catholic Senior Services from the Archdiocese of Minneapolis and St. Paul have been working to find a transportation system that will bring support to older adults who need help getting to appointments or out to social gatherings. Several Catholic parishes are also beginning to consider this service for their parishioners.

Read the full article online here

AARP Livable Communities: 5 Questions for Katherine Freund

March 18, 2015

AARP Livable CommunitiesOn average, men in the United States outlive their ability to drive by seven years. Women, who generally live longer than men, survive an additional decade beyond their driving years. Since the majority of communities nationwide are not walkable and do not have comprehensive public transit options, being a nondriver can be a limiting, isolating and even health-endangering experience.

Case in point: More than 3 million Americans miss or delay medical appointments every year because they lack a ride to the doctor.

As a young mother in 1988, Katherine Freund learned firsthand that the transportation problems faced by older adults can have a direct impact on people of any age, including her then-toddler son, who was run over and seriously injured by an 84-year-old driver who didn’t even realize he had nearly killed a child. (After years of extensive care the little boy did recover and is now a successful 30-year-old man.)

Read the full article online here

April is national volunteer month – won’t you #sharearide?

March 17, 2015

Consider taking the #sharearide challenge or just share your story this Spring about how senior mobility has changed your life or the life of a loved one.

March 17, 2015 – PORTLAND, Maine – Spring is in the air – a time to break out of the house, visit garden centers, and reconnect with community. Thousands of older Americans who can no longer drive won’t have the chance to get out and enjoy Spring this season, however. That’s why ITN is inviting Americans to make 2015 the year to #sharearide with an older person and share your story.

Share a ride hashtag

There is no better time to give it a try than national volunteer month in April. The challenge is simple and very important to the lives of millions of older Americans who are transitioning from the driver seat every day.

*Proceeds of the #sharearide challenge and fundraiser will be shared between ITNAmerica and your local ITN affiliate in communities with ITN affiliates (, unless otherwise specified by donors.

Don’t know an older or visually impaired person?

We recognize that not everyone knows an older person in their family, at church, or in their neighborhood who needs a ride. Start planning your #sharearide volunteer effort by contacting any of the following organizations to locate a person or organization in need of volunteer drivers:

Why #sharearide?

Aging and losing the ability to drive safely doesn’t need to mean losing the ability to live a full and active life if there are adequate transportation options. But when it comes to transportation, older and visually impaired people are severely underserved, and the unmet need is growing daily. By 2030, 20% of U.S. residents will be aged 65 or older. That’s 1 out of every 5, or nearly 75 million Americans.

“Older people who decide to stop driving outlive their decision by about 10 years. The answer to their unmet transportation needs is parked in driveways from coast to coast,” said ITN Founder and President Katherine Freund. Freund was named an AARP Inspire Award Honoree in 2009, and one of “12 People Who Are Changing Your Retirement” by the Wall Street Journal in 2008.

If you don’t use social media, you can also submit your story about how mobility has changed your life or the life of someone in your community, you can submit it online here. All participants in the #sharearide challenge are eligible to be part of a “story stop” on Katherine Freund’s 60-day ITNAmerica Storybook Tour this summer and, with permission, may also be featured in the book that she is writing about the Tour.

About the ITN Storybook Tour and #sharearide challenge

ITNAmerica Founder and President Katherine Freund is putting her mileage where her mouth is by buckling up for the ITN Storybook Tour this summer. The #sharearide challenge will surface the stories to serve as the basis for Katherine’s story stops. The 60-day cross-country road trip kicks off June 16, the 20th anniversary of ITN’s first ride. Freund wants to rally the nation to recognize the importance of mobility for people who can no longer drive, and help to secure solutions for the next 20 years. Learn more at

About Katherine Freund

Katherine Freund is an award-winning national expert on transportation solutions for America’s aging baby boomers who are planning for their retirement or can no longer drive. She has been featured on C-Span and in the New York Times, Forbes, Huffington Post and Consumer Reports. Her passion for transportation safety began 27 years ago, when her three-year-old son was run over by an 84-year-old driver. Learn more at

About ITNAmerica

ITNAmerica® is America’s only national, non-profit, community-based transportation network 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 at


Lisa Wolff, Marketing and Communications Manager of ITNAmerica

The Huffington Post: ‘Getting Around When You No Longer Drive’

January 16, 2015

Volunteer helpingDear Savvy Senior,
Where can I find out about alternative transportation options for my elderly mother? She needs to give up driving, but before she does, we need to figure out how she’ll get around.

–Searching Daughter

Dear Searching,
Alternative transportation services vary widely by community, so what’s available to your mom will depend on where she lives. Here’s what you should know.

Transportation Options
For starters it’s important to know that while most urban areas offer seniors a variety of transportation services, the options may be few to none for those living in the suburbs, small towns and rural areas. Alternative transportation is an essential link in helping seniors who no longer drive get to their doctor’s appointments, stores, social activities and more.

Read the full article online here

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.

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.

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

ITN Volunteer Drivers in The New York Times

October 20, 2014

The New York Times

ITN earned some fantastic press in The New York Times this weekend!

Founder Katherine Freund, ITNCoastalCt volunteers Jacqueline Masumian and Joel Beckoff, and Judi Bonilla from ITNGreaterSanDiego‘s Council of Advisors were quoted in the article, which stressed the importance of baby boomers planning for future transportation needs.

Read the full article online here

Local Drivers wanted to help seniors

September 22, 2014

Seniors in Hall County will have a new transportation method available in 2015.

ITNLanier, a volunteer-based senior transportation model, is seeking donations and volunteers in order to begin services next July, according to Erika Walker, ITNLanier co-chair.

ITNLanier is a pre-affiliate of ITNAmerica, a national nonprofit senior transportation network. It is designed to replicate the flexibility and independence provided by private car ownership for seniors unable to drive or uncomfortable doing so.

“Basically this is a senior transportation program geared toward 65-and-older folks,” Walker said. “It’s unique because it offers door-through-door, 24/7, arm-in-arm service for older adults and it uses individual cars.”