If you love to drive as much as I do, you can understand wanting to spend time in your car besides commuting and running errands. One of the coolest ways to get in some extra drive time is to use your car to help others. Here’s a look at five great ways to volunteer with your car:
1. Save a life. If you love animals, rescue groups in your community can always use transport drivers to either get pets to their forever homes or to transport animals from shelters into a rescue-sponsored foster home. Groups such as the Underground Railroad Rescued Kitty Network (URRKN) rely on drivers to deliver pets relay-style to their new home. Interested? email them for an invite.
2. Deliver food…and companionship. If you have a heart for seniors, Meals on Wheels could use a hand. Sign up with your local chapter and help deliver warm meals to home-bound seniors in your community. You’ll not only provide a nutritious meal, but you visit will also brighten a senior’s day.
3. Give someone a lift. Some non-profits, such as Jewish Federation and Family Services of Orange County, CA offer ride services for seniors and working people in need who lack reliable transportation. Volunteer drivers are the heart and soul of such programs; your ride can mean the difference between getting out and about or remaining at home. Keep track of your miles and fuel; both are tax-deductible within IRS limits.
4. Play Santa: Round up some friends, buy some gifts, and distribute them to kids in pediatric hospitals. You will win hearts and blow minds. Always check with the hospital of your choice beforehand. Chances are, they will welcome you and your friends with open arms.
5. Treatment transport: Sign up to drive a person with cancer or AIDS to treatment or doctor’s appointments. Groups such as local chapters of the American Cancer Society rely on volunteer drivers to get people with cancer to and from treatment each week. Give someone a lift and reduce their feelings of isolation at the same time. A clean car and friendly smile will mean much to someone with no other way to get to treatments and appointments.
You won’t need a killer car for any of these gigs. My departed 1991 Volvo, Nigel, held up great when I drove for a local pet rescue. All that matters is a clean driving record, an open heart, a clean background, and some free time. You’ll get more road time and make a difference in another person’s life at the time time.
It doesn’t get much better than that.
Note: I have no affiliations with any of the groups mentioned in this post.