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Transportation Assistance for Seacoast Citizens: Easing the Issue of Reliable Transportation for Seniors

By Elisha Neubauer

Transportation Assistance for Seacoast Citizens is lending a helping hand, providing reliable transportation to those in need.

Seniors face many challenges on a daily basis, but perhaps one of the most common problems is finding reliable transportation which will allow them to maintain their independence, long after their driving days are over. While this is a widespread problem, it is one that senior citizens in Hampton, New Hampshire and eight surrounding communities, no longer have to face alone.

Recognizing the need to alleviate this common issue, several local clergy members began discussing how to lessen the stress seniors face when trying to organize transportation to and from doctor appointments, grocery stores, and events. The discussion was taken to The Rockingham Planning Commission and Seacoast Visiting Nurses and Lamprey Healthcare and before anyone knew it, they were securing funding from the United Way of the Greater Seacoast. It was then that Transportation for Seacoast Citizens was founded, starting with only six volunteer drivers.

Ten years later, the company has grown to house over 40 volunteer drivers who have provided more than 32,000 rides to seniors throughout the community since the launch. "While numbers are important they are not the real story of TASC," says Carol Gulla, Executive Director. "The real story comes from our riders; riders like Anne, a stroke survivor, who wrote: 'The service was a godsend to us. Being able to go to rehab has helped me recover so much function and skills for daily living. Our appreciation can't be fully expressed in words. But, thanks to all of you; you make an important difference.'"

In order to use the service, the process is fairly simple. There is a short registration form that clients are required to fill out before being able to utilize this lifesaving service. Once the form is complete, clients only have to call the Transportation for Seacoast Citizens office (at 603-926-9026) and request a ride. "We do ask for a week to 10 days' notice when possible so we have the best chance of finding an available volunteer driver," Gulla notes.

If you're interested in becoming a volunteer driver, the process is also simple. "Our volunteer drivers are the heart and soul of TASC, without them the program would not exist," states Gulla. "We always need more volunteers." Each volunteer is able to work around their own schedule, allowing them to donate their time to this wonderful cause without interfering in their day to day lives in a massive way.

"Volunteer drivers help provide rides requested by TASC passengers, but those rides are provided based on each volunteer's schedule and availability," she tells us.

"This is a volunteer opportunity that can be tailored to suit any schedule, whatever that schedule may be!" Volunteer drivers must be at least 25 years old, have a favorable driving record and a legally registered, inspected and insured vehicle. "While most rides are provided by our volunteer drivers using their own vehicles, TASC does have a wheelchair accessible minivan to provide rides to those with mobility devices," Gulla explains. "This van is driven by volunteers who have been trained in the safe transport of passengers in wheelchairs."

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About The Author

Elisha Neubauer is a freelance editor, ghostwriter, book reviewer, and author. She is...

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