A little over a year ago, Gary had a house fire and lost almost everything. Thankfully, Gary’s dog woke him in time for him to get out of the burning home to safety. Gary, 59, believes this was a bigger intervention, a sign perhaps that it was time for him to get sober once and for all, and that’s exactly what he did.
Gary’s daughter reached out to the Director at The Christian Corner Community Center looking for an opportunity for her father to get involved in something to give him a feeling of worth again. The center was a perfect fit now that he was sober, and he had the ability to cook, clean, and just provide some general labor as the center is always is need of volunteers. Melissa Hance, the director, welcomed Gary with open arms. Gary was anxious to get started but he would need transportation to and from the center. Gary doesn’t drive, and his daughter’s schedule doesn’t allow for her to assist. The only barrier for Gary was transportation. Other modes of transportation would be too costly since he would be volunteering his time at the center and not a paid employee.
Gary’s daughter called the Area Agency on Aging 3’s Find A Ride program. Find A Ride was able to link Gary up with a local contracted transportation provider, and provide his transportation to the center 3 days a week with no cost to Gary thanks to state and federal funding.
Melissa Hance, Director of Christian Corner Community Center, shares that Gary has been a “saving grace for this place”. He stepped right in and became a valued member of the center’s team almost immediately. Gary worked to build new shelving and update many areas within the center. Gary says volunteering at the Center has “given me a purpose” and that he feels very “fulfilled”. The pride in Gary’s face was obvious as he showed off the areas of the center he has worked on. Gary continues to focus on his sobriety through helping others and being someone that others can now depend on. Gary greatly appreciates the Find A Ride program and the transportation he has been able to receive. His time at the Christian Corner Community Center has brought him so much fulfillment through volunteering and helping other. He hopes to be a part of the “team” for a long time to come.
If you are in need of assistance with transportation or would like information on opportunities to become a transportation provider, please contact us at 419-222-7723.
Beca Sheidler, Mobility Manager