Operation Red Nose Surrey-Langley could close for rest of season due to lack of volunteers

Organizers say they are struggling to keep up with high call numbers and long wait times

While the interest is high this holiday season for using Operation Red Nose (ORN) as a safe way to get home, a lack of volunteers may shut the local service down for the remainder of its scheduled run.

The volunteer service, facilitated by Langley Minor Hockey Association (LMHA), did manage to complete over 110 safe rides during their second weekend out in the community, Dec. 6 and 7.

But Michelle Cowan, vice president of operations for LMHA, the service could have done so much more.

“On Saturday alone, we had almost 20 callers for the service look elsewhere because of the wait times. Additionally, another 10 cancelled after booking their rides for the same reason,” Cowan said.

After a two-year absence in Surrey and Langley, the LMHA team say the high number of calls is a positive sign that ORN does have support; but without drivers, there’s no way the service can continue.

“We could have used at least five more drive teams Saturday night,” Cowan explained. “Our volunteers worked tirelessly through until about 4 a.m. each night.”

Because of so few names signed up for the coming weeks – particularly New Year’s Eve – Cowan said Surrey-Langley is in danger of not having ORN as an option as the holiday’s get into full swing.

“There is huge interest in using the service, but without the volunteers, we may be forced to end the campaign,” she said.

ORN accepts volunteers all season along; all interested applicants have to do is fill out a form – available at www.langleyminorhockey.ca.

The service is executed in teams; one volunteer drives, a second navigates, and a third volunteer follows in an escort vehicle to pick up the volunteers.

READ MORE: More than 60 safe rides home given in Langley over first Operation Red Nose Weekend

People do not need to sign up in teams to volunteer – anyone interested is welcome and will be assigned to a group.

Driver’s licenses are not required for all volunteers either; navigators are needed to help direct drivers.

For those who can get behind the wheel, ICBC will issue special coverage on volunteer vehicles for the evening.

“Additionally, we had some incredible support from the RCMP and ICBC this weekend,” Cowan added. “They toured around with our Rudy promotional team, and even let Rudy help out at a road block.”

Covering all of Langley-Township and Surrey, ORN is scheduled every Friday and Saturday night, 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. as well as Tuesday, Dec. 31. – New Year’s Eve.

The service runs on donations, any money given by ORN users will go towards LHMA to help bring down fees for young hockey players.

_________________________________

Is there more to this story?

Email: ryan.uytdewilligen@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter

_________________________________

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

High school trades workers compete at Westview Secondary

Students from Maple Ridge and Port Moody took part in auto service and cabinet making contests

CALL OUT: Musicians invited to perform on Port Haney Wharf

For more than 20 years Maple Ridge Historic Society has been hosting a series of outdoor concerts

LETTER: Stop the spiral towards climate catastrophe

Former Green Party candidate pushes for rejection of Frontier Teck’s mining application

LETTER: Abortion sign does not convey motherhood message

Maple Ridge letter writer upset issue is being covered by local media, even as letter to the editor

Fomer soccer pro wants to elevate sport in Maple Ridge

Russ Huggon to hold high performance soccer camp in March

VIDEO: Behind the scenes of turning newspapers into digital archives

Kelowna Capital News donated materials dating from 1980 to 2000

Heart attacks strike B.C. husband and wife just over one year apart

Courtenay couple share personal stories to bring awareness to heart month

‘Nothing surprises us anymore:’ U.S. border officials find brain in package

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents found the brain packed in a glass mason jar in a Canada Post shipment

VIDEO: Giants winning streak now stands at 11

Team erased a 5-2 deficit by scoring every five minutes

Fiery collision involving truck closes Highway 1 at Three Valley Gap

Drivers should expect major delays and congestion; estimated time of re-opening is 2 p.m.

B.C., Ottawa sign sweeping 30-year deal for northern caribou habitat

West Moberly, Saulteau co-manage new protection on two million acres

Eyes on police after Trudeau orders blockades torn down, injunctions enforced

The RCMP in B.C. have sent a letter to the traditional leaders of the Wet’suwet’en Nation

B.C. massage therapist suspended following allegations of sexual misconduct

While suspended, Leonard Krekic is not entitled to practice as an RMT in B.C.

New Alberta forward joins Vancouver Giants’ ranks

new left-handed 18-year-old is a familiar face to Giants head coach Michael Dyck

Most Read