A volunteer driving service to help seniors who may have transportation or mobility issues when it comes to getting to and from vaccine appointments has set up shop in Grande Prairie.
Drive Happiness Program Coordinator Mawada Tarhuni says the in 2021 the organization took part in over 19,000 trips in the Edmonton area, and the plan to expand up to Grande Prairie has been a long time in the making. She adds the hope is the Driving Rural Access to Vaccines Project, which is available here, should be just as successful as it’s easy to navigate for users.
“Grande Prairie is going to be like the new northwestern hub in Alberta, and was suggested to us by our stakeholders to expand in Grande Prairie, and a lot more people would benefit from that,” she says.
“All they have to do is contact us toll free, leave us a voicemail, which include their name, address, where they would like to be dropped off… and they would be picked up and dropped off free of charge.”
Tarhuni says despite the COVID-19 shutdown taking place just a year after they set up shop in Edmonton, the demand has remained high. She says the appreciation they receive from seniors and older adults doesn’t cease to amaze staff.
“It truly impacted their quality of life… isolation is a horrible thing and not being able to go where you need to go due to transportation is frustrating.”
“So many wonderful little notes and cards we’ve received, I wish you could come down to our office in Edmonton to see how wonderful people are,” she says.
You can find more information about the Drive Happiness program on the organization’s website.