The 16th annual Operation Red Nose campaign is gearing up for another busy holiday season.
With the goal of making the roads and highways safer for everyone, Operation Red Nose volunteers give rides home to people out partying and celebrating who may feel unfit to drive but want to get their vehicles home as well.
Although the service is free, donations are accepted and 100 per cent of the money will go to PacificSport Fraser Valley to help local high performance, podium sport athletes in the form of travel and performance grants and various other support services.
This year the service will be in operation between 9 p.m. until 3 a.m. on Nov. 25 and 26, and Dec. 2-3, 9-10, 16-17, and 31.
Last year, volunteers in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows gave 353 rides to party-goers, nearly double that of 2008, when the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows campaign began.
Bruce Livingstone, community liaison for Operation Red Nose Ridge-Meadows, thinks that changes to drinking and driving laws may be the primary reason for the jump in rides, but he would also like to think that the program is simply more established.
“People are more in tuned to what they are going to do and how they are getting home before they go out,” says Livingstone.
This year it is expected Operation Red Nose Ridge-Meadows will surpass the 1,000 rides mark and overtake last year’s total.
Operation Red Nose is always looking for volunteers. Anyone wishing to do so can visit either the Ridge Meadows RCMP detachment on Edge Street or the community police station in Pitt Meadows along Harris Road to pick up an application form.
All applicants are required to get a criminal record check, which takes time, says Livingstone, so the earlier you decide to volunteer the better.
“It’s a lot of fun,” Livingstone said of volunteering. “It is a great way to meet people and to give back to the community.”
Livingstone is also looking to build up an inventory of old Telus cell phones, since Telus provides the volunteers free air time.
Anyone wishing to donate a phone can drop them off at the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News, 22328 – 119th Avenue, Maple Ridge.
This year will be the largest Operation Red Nose campaign to date, with services available in 111 host communities in eight provinces across Canada.
• To volunteer contact volunteer director Dena Sorley at 604-834-4554.
Book a ride
To book a ride call 604-515-6673 or 1-877-604-NOSE, or go to www.operationrednose.com for more information.