Updated: Mar 24, 2021
The First Tennessee Area Agency on Aging and Disability MyRide volunteer-transportation programs in Northeast Tennessee have logged 84,962 miles over 8,617 trips since their inception in late 2018. That is the equivalent of three trips around Earth’s equator, with about 10,000 miles to spare.
Established in response to the growing transportation needs for older adults who are unable to drive themselves, MyRide is a door-through-door program with funding provided through a grant awarded by the Davidson County Chancery Court. Part III from the Senior Trust/Elder Trust settlement (Case No. 11-1548-III) and through a contract administered by the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability.
These volunteers transport their friends and neighbors to medical appointments, shopping and other errands in Johnson County, Jonesborough, and Kingsport, with a planned expansion in Greeneville coming soon. In addition to ensuring that older adults are able to make the local trips they need, having safe, reliable transportation combats isolation and depression for otherwise-homebound individuals. The riders often develop friendships with their volunteer drivers, requesting the same person for each trip.
“What is truly astounding to me is that the program was designed to reimburse volunteers for their mileage, but to date, not a single person has submitted a request for reimbursement,” said Lee Gay, volunteer transportation coordinator for MyRide. “They do this because they understand the importance of a trip to the doctor, the grocery store, or other destination to their older neighbors!”
To date, these amazing volunteers are averaging 380 miles per month, serving 176 clients, and racking up 6,580 volunteer hours. This kind of dedication and hard work is even more impressive considering the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has delayed expansion, but has not hindered trips or the spirits of the volunteers who make this great program a success.
To learn more about the MyRide Program, or learn how to volunteer, visit: