Thanks to Operations Red Nose, 788 people were given a safe ride home in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows during the annual holiday campaign.
Now in its 12th year, the volunteer-run fundraiser brought in $13,192 in support of local KidSport, according to Nicky Tu, ORN coordinator in the community.
The #'s are in! RM's ORN Campaign #'s that is: Rides=326, Volunteer shifts=262, Teams=71, # km's driven=10,198 & the best # of all…788 people were driven home safely! #saferidehomeBC, @YourMapleRidge, @citypittmeadows @icbc, @rmRCMP, @RidgeRCMP, @MapleRidgeNews, @KidSportBC, pic.twitter.com/1y4IuYSnlo
— Katie Woochuk (@RoadSafetyKate) January 8, 2020
KidSport is an organization that provides financial sponsorship for local children who want to play sports, but cannot afford to join.
The holiday campaign raised more than last year’s total of $11,461, which Tu believes is a result of a newly added feature.
“Since last year, we did add e-transfer for people to donate because a lot of people don’t have cash in hand when they take the ride,” she explained.
Some who used the ride service donated even days after their completed ride, Tu said.
But despite the increase in funds raised, Tu believes there is room for improvement.
“We didn’t have as many volunteers as we would love to have, and there were nights that basically the clients had to wait quite a while to get a ride,” she said. “We were really grateful that a lot of people were really patient with us.”
During peak times, clients were waiting up to two hours for a ride, according to Tu.
The busiest nights were on Dec. 7, 14, 21 and 31.
“Saturdays are really, really busy… and then New Year’s Eve was busy, as well,” said Tu.
Looking ahead to the 2020 season, Tu said ORN will be planning ahead.
“Every year, we look for sponsorships and also other corporate donations prior to the season. Likely in 2020, we will start earlier,” she explained.
“Instead of starting sometime in the fall, we’re going to start earlier so that businesses get an opportunity to look at this great opportunity.”
ORN had 262 volunteer shifts and during its nine scheduled nights of operation and provided 326 rides, driving over 10,000 kilometres.
“We would like to thank our volunteers very much and also all the sponsors that help us through the season … and thank the clients too,” Tu said.