Driving for charity

August 2, 2017

Rick has been driving for Catholic Social Services’ Transportation Program for more than 11 years. He helps many clients get to their non-emergency medical appointments, and according to Rick, his client, Gerry, is one of the biggest Ohio State fans. “My husband was an alumnus,” Gerry says. “We had season tickets to the football games, and now my son is an usher at the stadium.” Gerry and her family have even been to the Rose bowl three times!

Rick also tells us that Gerry is a client who likes to be independent and do things herself. In fact, Gerry still drives herself places, though she finds it too difficult to get to and from her dialysis appointments. So instead, she uses Catholic Social Services. Rick arrives at her door promptly at 6:20 am. “Rick is always on time. If he says he will be here at 6:20 am, you better be ready at 6:20 am,” Gerry laughs.

Gerry has two children and two grandchildren, and both of her children live in the Newark/Heath area and frequently check in on their mother. Using the Transportation Program, “gives my daughter peace of mind,” Gerry says. “She doesn’t want me driving in [winter] weather.” Gerry uses a walker, and snow and ice make it difficult for her to get around, especially early in the mornings, when the snow trucks haven’t plowed or salted.

Gerry has used two other transportation programs in the past, but she switched to Catholic Social Services because her dialysis appointments were changed to the mornings. “The other services don’t open until 8 am,” she says. This would leave Gerry, who needs to be picked up just after 6 am, without a way to get to her dialysis appointments. With CSS, drivers hit the road at 6 am and are available until 6 pm, Monday through Friday.

Gerry has had a great experience with CSS, and when asked if she would recommend the Transportation Program to others she says, “yes,” without hesitation. “They are always on time, and you’re never forgotten. All the drivers are very friendly.”

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