FERRIER FILES: Senior Ride Nashville gives elders who gave up driving a new alternative
By Dennis Ferrier via Fox 17 Nashville
John Hutcheson is constantly driving Jo Lemaire to run errands.
"I asked the doctor when I was in there what was the alternative," Hutcheson said while driving Jo.
But these two were complete strangers a few months ago before being brought together by Senior Ride Nashville.
"How would I go anywhere if I didn't have senior rides? I'm telling you it is the best thing that ever happened to me. and I'm not just saying it.," said Jo.
Jo, 85, gave up driving a year ago.
It had become difficult and terrifying, but with hair appointments, groceries and all those doctors’ appointments, she had to find an alternative.
"It took me two rides to realize how important it is to these folks," Hutcheson said. "This is something I knew intellectually how important it was but I didn't know from the heart how important it was for people to get out."
John started volunteering for Senior Rides because he is semi-retired and had some time on his hands
But he had no idea how much he would love it.
"We hear the phrase all the time its more than just a ride, really often from both our riders and drivers, not only addressing transportation and mobility, but we are discovering new and meaningful relationships blossoming<" said Senior Ride Nashville executive director Carrie Brumfield.
Senior Ride has a critical need for volunteers.
There is currently a waiting list for rides with 30,000 people in Nashville age 75 or older.
Every day someone stops driving and starts needing a friend to help.
That's how John sees it.
He may have started as a volunteer, but now he is helping a friend.
"I love it and I love her," said John.
For Jo, the feeling is mutual.
"He treats me better than he would treat his mother. No, at least as good." she laughed.
Senior Ride Nashville asks very little from volunteers, just to provide at least two rides a month...
However, most volunteers end up doing more.
If you're interested in working with Senior Ride Nashville or learning more information, visit the organization's website here.