Day after day, I get in my car and drive. I drive to work, church, the store, to visit family, to get ice cream…blah, blah, blah. You get the point. Each day I drive to the places I need, and want, to be. Each day I do it without thought and without appreciation. I take it for granted. I do not take the time to look at the blessings that have bestowed on me when it comes to transportation. I have a car. I have money for gas. I have good health and vision that allow for me to drive. I am a lucky one. There are many people in our community who are not as fortunate. What would I do if I was in poor health and unable to drive myself to my doctors appointments? What would you do? This week, I found the answer.
Community Transportation Network (CTN) is a nonprofit organization that provides dependable and efficient transportation to those with a need in our community. They take people where they need to go and they ensure that no one is left behind. Vulnerable seniors, persons with disabilities, and preschool children are just a few of the people who benefit from the services CTN provides. Whether it is a trip to the chiropractor for the elderly women who has a cracked hip, the ride to dialysis treatments for a group of individuals battling disease, or the retired military veteran who just needs a ride home from his cardiac rehab appointment, CTN is there. They are the answer to the question “what would I do?”
This week’s experience was a little different from most weeks. CTN does not use a lot of volunteers. The individuals who drive for the organization are paid employees. So, I wasn’t able to help through hands on activities. I am able to help by becoming an advocate for the organization and sharing their needs. I spent time on a CTN bus doing a ride along. I had a front row seat to the organization, the mission, and the people that they serve. It was a wonderful experience. Dan, the CTN driver, was amazing to watch. He was the true definition of customer service. The relationships that he has created with those he serves are strong. The impact he makes on their lives is evident by looks on their faces and the glimmer in their eyes. The power of CTN’s service was also obvious. Person after person talked about how great CTN was and how difficult life would be without them. I also saw that CTN is more than just a transportation service. CTN creates friendships and families. The staff genuinely cares for those that they serve and those served reciprocate the feelings. It was really great to witness.
The Community Transportation Network needs your help. They turn away hundreds of people each week because they do not have the funding to transport everyone who has the need. Visit their website, take a tour, and consider making a financial contribution to the organization. In October participate in the Ride4Rides event to help raise awareness and much-needed funds. Do something to help this great organization serve those in our community who need it. What would you do if you needed the transportation? Take action! When you get involved, you will learn that it more than transportation.