George Garrett of the Volunteer Cancer Drivers Society said the financial situation of the non-profit has improved, but with more demand has come an increased need for funding (Langley Advance Times File)

A brighter financial picture for non-profit Volunteer Cancer Drivers Society

Donations from Langley City and Langley-based First West improve matters

One grant at a time, the financial picture for the Volunteer Cancer Drivers Society (VCDS) is improving.

Both the City of Langley and a Langley-based financial institution made new contributions this month to the Metro Vancouver nonprofit that provides free rides for cancer patients to and from hospital.

After a few years of not making the list of City-supported community causes, the VCDS was awarded a $1,000 grant by council earlier this month.

“We are so delighted and so thankful,” Volunteer Cancer Drivers spokesperson George Garrett responded.

Around the same time, Langley-based First West Financial, which includes the Island Savings, Envision, Valley and Enderby credit unions, donated $20,000, the largest “single-year” donation the charity has ever received, Garrett estimated.

Langley and Abbotsford areas are the most expensive, with costs as high as $49 per trip, VCDS figures show.

Other contributions, including grants from the Township of Langley, Surrey, Delta, West Vancouver, North Vancouver, District of North Vancouver, Port Moody and various other charitable and community groups, have helped improve the financial position of the non-profit, which Garrett said currently has enough funding to convert costs for the next six months, plus a contingency fund in case the money runs out.

That doesn’t mean the society is out of the financial woods, however.

Garrett noted VCDS still has to focus on finding funds because demand has risen as more people become aware of the service.

READ MORE: Gas price hikes another obstacle for Lower Mainland’s Volunteer Cancer Drivers

In December of this year, VCDS drivers hit a milestone of one million kilometres driven.

Garett noted the drivers themselves the biggest donor group, because many donate donate their gas money back to the society.

Since the service was launched in February of 2016 to replace a previous service cancelled by the Canadian Cancer Society in 2015, VCDS has grown from a handful of volunteer drivers to about 175 volunteer drivers and 10 dispatchers.

VCDS operates in Langley, Abbotsford, Surrey, White Rock, Maple Ridge, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam, Port Moody, the North Shore, Delta, and part of New Westminster.

Everyone, from the drivers to the board members, are volunteers and the society does not keep an office. Dispatchers work to co-ordinate transportation from their homes.

According to VCDS, 93 per cent of all funds goes directly to drivers to pay for gas and minor maintenance, while administrative expenses, which help the society spread the word of its services, make up the remaining seven per cent.

More information is available online at www.volunteercancerdrivers.ca.

.

_________________________________

Is there more to this story?

Email: dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter

_________________________________

Just Posted

Petition says pot-grow stench led to ‘Summer of Stink’

Province urged to ‘Stop the Smell’ in the Fraser Valley

Maple Ridge Ale Trail combines craft beer and the outdoors

The community launch takes place September 21 at the Haney Farmers Market

Maple Ridge’s Ruimy defends embattled prime minister

Racial issue ripples to Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows riding

Aging out of Ministry care, Pitt resident tributes fund for post secondary success

Soraya Bellou is raising awareness for the Youth Futures Education Fund

Purple lights to illuminate the issue of domestic violence in Maple Ridge

Businesses along 224 Street will decorate storefront windows for Sept. 26

VIDEO: Trudeau asks Canada to look to current, not past, actions on race

Liberal leader says he never spoke about the racist photo because he was embarrassed

Horvat paces Canucks to 6-1 pre-season win over Oilers

Vancouver improves to 3-1 in NHL exhibition action

Legislature gifts, clothing, travel need better control, B.C. auditor says

Audit follows suspensions of managers by Speaker Darryl Plecas

‘Really disturbing:’ Trudeau’s racist photos worry B.C. First Nation chief

Wet’suwet’en Chief concerned the photos will sow fear in Indigenous communities

‘Unacceptable’: What politicians have to say about Trudeau in blackface

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi: ‘When I saw that picture last night, certainly it was a sucker-punch’

‘He’s trying to kill me’: Victoria police commandeer boats to reach screaming woman

No charges laid and civilians to be awarded honours after incident on Gorge Waterway

VIDEO: B.C. man accused of assaulting sex worker loses temper in interrogation

Defence lawyer says statements made by accused Curtis Sagmoen should be deemed inadmissible

John Horgan promises action after fatal mid-Island bus crash

Premier cites students, local Indigneous community as reason to repair the road

Police warn of escalating violence, weapons in Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park

Officers issue statement about high crime in the area that includes a homeless camp

Most Read