The Red Deer Action Group Society is putting out a call for community support for a highly-utilized local transit program for disadvantaged residents.
“The Red Deer Action Group Society has two programs that are transportation programs,” said Jean Stinson, executive director of the Central Alberta Brain Injury Society.
“One of them is a subsidy ride program where individuals come in with their receipts from bus tickets that they buy, or from Action Bus tickets or from taxis, and then they receive 25 per cent back in cash that we fundraise for,” she said.
That goes up to $150 per year.
“The program I’d like to highlight now is the Donate A Ride program, which we’ve modeled after a program in Edmonton,” she explained.
“We totally rely on local donations in particular from the Red Deer Kinsmen who do the draw for their Dream Home.”
Funds from the Lottery help to support the Donate A Ride program, but Stinson said she’s been made aware that ticket sales this year for the Lottery are down a bit.
She’s hoping that the public both increasingly helps out the Dream Home Lottery to a greater degree which not only helps to support Donate A Ride, but also benefits other community causes as well.
“We really rely on service clubs to help give us the funding. We do not have government funding, we are a small charity,” she explained. “We appreciate the service clubs and all of the organizations that give us funds.”
Stinson emphasized how critical the Donate A Ride program really is.
Many folks rely on the rides they can access via the program to all kinds of local services including such things as banks, medical appointments or shopping just to name a few.
“Donate A Ride is really fantastic because what happens is, between January and March, recipient organizations like the Salvation Army, Parkland CLASS, Canadian Mental Health, Mustard Seed, Women’s Outreach, the Pregnancy Care Centre, Safe Harbour and Turning Point all apply for those tickets that the Kinsmen give us the money for,” she said.
Each organization, in turn, utilizes the tickets in assisting their own clients.
Anyone is invited to help support the Donate A Ride program, and can do so by calling Stinson at 403-343-1198 or they can check out the web site at www.rdactiongroup.ca.
There is a ‘donation form’ tab plus lots of other information about the Society in general.
“It’s a great program.” she said.
“And the more money we receive for the Donate A Ride program, the more tickets we can buy from the City. So it supports the City Transit and it also supports up to 14 agencies that are helping people, so it’s a really valuable program,” she added.
“I also think that with the expansion of the transit system, now going out to Penhold and other areas, there are individuals coming in from out of town into Red Deer looking for services and needing bus tickets when they go to agencies,” she said.
“So the need is great, and will only get bigger.”
Meanwhile, the Red Deer Action Group Society is requesting all agencies interested in tickets from Donate A Ride to submit their applications by March 31st.