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Drive Happiness

Drive Happiness

Drive Happiness Seniors Association has expanded its services to the Grande Prairie region! The non-profit organization assists seniors with transportation needs, and is looking for volunteers.

Drive Happiness’ Seniors Assisted Transportation Program (SATP) helps older adults remain in their homes longer, empowering them to maintain an independent lifestyle. It is provided to eligible individuals by volunteer drivers, who are screened for vulnerable security clearance, a well-maintained vehicle, and a clean driving abstract. Currently, the program serves seniors in 43 Albertan communities.

Drive Happiness doesn’t just benefit riders- there are pros to being a driver as well! Just ask Ken, a Drive Happiness volunteer since early 2021. For him, becoming a volunteer was a no-brainer.

“It goes back to common sense. I live in the country, I’m retired, and in the summer, I go out for a drive every other day just to kill time and check on the crops. So, when I saw an ad in the local paper, I thought it would be a good fit for me. I should help people if I’m already out anyway!”

Ken enjoys conversing with his riders and the challenge of scheduling trips as efficiently as possible. He feels there are three main benefits stemming from his efforts. 

“I get to do my driving, I get to help people and have them tell me what a wonderful service we’re providing, and I meet new people; I enjoy it and look forward to it.”

One of Ken’s favourite experiences was when he accommodated a ride request for a gentleman requiring medical care; “When I called to say I could give him a lift, his wife said they were so grateful because the taxi fare would have cost $75. How much better can you feel than helping a senior, who has health conditions and doesn’t drive? The service makes people’s day a little better that is why I believe in it.”

Faced with challenges due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Drive Happiness continued its service by using PPE and contract tracing. The safety of its riders and drivers is always a priority. They were awarded the Janet Hughes Award in 2021 for their collaboration with the Edmonton Food Bank. They assisted in lessening local food insecurity by delivering hampers to isolated individuals or those experiencing transportation barriers. 

Drive Happiness received funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada through the Immunization Partnership Fund to increase access to vaccines. The project named Driving Rural Access to Vaccines (DRAV) provides transportation to vaccination appointments free of charge. Individuals can access this program by emailing DRAV@drivehappiness.ca or calling 1-888-336-4503.

As a volunteer-based service, Drive Happiness goes well beyond ordinary transportation. Clients can go where they need to go with affordable door-through-door service and connect with their driver through friendly conversation.

If you or someone you know is interested in volunteering with Drive Happiness, call toll-free 1-888-336-4503 or email volunteer@drivehappiness.ca

For more information on this great organization, visit https://drivehappiness.ca/.  Also, check out their social media pages:

Facebook – @DriveHappiness.ab

Instagram –  @drivehappy_ab

Twitter – @DriveHappy_ab

LinkedIn – @drive-happiness

The Association’s board and staff would like to thank Drive Happiness Seniors Association for being a member and part of our Member Spotlight.