Rides for Cecile
“CarePool means the world to me. It’s an integral part of my life. I don’t know what I would do without it.” – Cecile, CarePool Rider
Sometimes, it can be easy to underestimate the importance of reliable transportation. Many of us start the engine, hop onto Highway 101, and arrive at a grocery store or friend’s house without a second thought.
This isn’t the case for Cecile. Every day, she has to make decisions about how she’s going to get to a doctor’s appointment or go to the store. Transportation is inextricably linked to independence and well-being. We need it for work, for visits with family and friends, for getting food, for emergencies, and countless other situations that may come up in daily life.
That’s why Vivalon’s ride programs are so important.
The need for transportation doesn’t go away as we age. In some cases, it becomes even more important simply to meet our basic needs: food, medicine, doctor appointments, and human connection.
Mobility can become one of the biggest obstacles, and that’s especially true here in Marin. Winding, narrow roads through the hills and valleys make it difficult for buses to reach certain areas, and a high cost of living makes it too difficult for many of us to pay for a ride. In the end, people often end up missing important medical appointments or become isolated and alone.
This isn’t a new problem either. Vivalon gave its first ride to a Marin resident back in 1968, and transportation has been a critical service of ours ever since. The rides Vivalon offer help our neighbors stay independent. Thanks to a caring community of donors, volunteers, and staff, rides through Vivalon’s CarePool program are free, safe, and reliable.
Vivalon started CarePool in 2015 to ensure people like Cecile wouldn’t have to miss an appointment or skip meals because they couldn’t drive to the store. Cecile grew up in San Francisco and has lived in Marin for 48 years. She has led an active life, working many different kinds of jobs, and has a love for literature. One of her favorite jobs allowed her to work with publications like The New York Times and Oprah Magazine. These days her world looks different though. She has numerous medical appointments every month and still needs to go grocery shopping even though she does not have a car. She needed help. That’s why she called CarePool and has continued using the program for seven years.
Every week, drivers pick up Cecile from her home, and then they wait until she’s done with her appointments or shopping, so they can help bring her back home. If they take her to the store, they carry her groceries up the stairs for her. The drivers aren’t just strangers providing a service though. “I have a core of about 5 drivers. They’re like family,” says Cecile. “They’re wonderful! CarePool really helps. I just couldn’t do it without it.”
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Your time can transform a life.
When you help someone get to a medical appointment, you’re doing so much more than providing a ride. You’re showing our neighbors that they’re not forgotten.
Take it from a long-time volunteer:
“The independence this gives to our clients is incomparable. With the help of a driver, they can go to the post office, bank, or grocery store and take care of their own needs.” -Shelley
Join our volunteer team and experience the joy that comes from seeing a warm smile of appreciation on a senior’s face. Together, we can ensure that no senior in our community is left behind.
Click here or call 415-456-9067 to learn more and sign up.
You can also click here to donate and provide rides as well as critical healthy aging services.