Transportation requests increasing, drivers needed

If you have 100 volunteers and 100 clients, why would you need more volunteers?

First of all, we have more of both, but, to be able to help everyone who makes a request, according to Mary Morrison, the Caregivers’ Transportation Coordinator, there should be a 2-to-1 or 3-to-1 ratio of volunteers to clients in order to be in a healthy situation. This is all by way of saying that more drivers, in particular, are needed to meet the increasing requests for transportation.

Mary cited one example that is recurring more and more frequently: “The hospital called and they need to see me tomorrow,” the client says. Mary went on, “She could be readmitted if she couldn’t make the appointment. We don’t want to say no.”

Caregivers does everything it can to honor the volunteers’ choice of assignments and times available. Clients, too, have a timeframe they need to observe when making requests. But, as Mary said, clients are asking for services the next day. That puts a strain on the driver pool.

Linda Miller, Outreach and Education coordinator, added another piece to the picture. “As a volunteer, you want to feel connected but not get burned out,” she said.

Both Mary and Linda emphasize that we don’t want to make our volunteers feel guilt if they have to say “no.” It makes sense, then, that the more volunteers you have the more you can prevent burnout and guilt.

The staff does everything it can to schedule volunteers and clients from the same area. The staff provides volunteers with important information to help the volunteer perform the service successfully, even providing directions. Mary said she has actually driven some routes so she can give good directions to the volunteer.

The next orientation is April 30 at 10 a.m. at the Caregivers’ office at 2021 Western Ave., Suite 104,  in Guilderland. Please consider becoming a volunteer driver. Your generosity of time would be valued and honored.