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

_________________________________

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

OBITUARY: Sherrold Haddad brought giant Canadian flag to Surrey car dealership, built community

‘An amazing man, business person and community leader,’ friend Bruce Hayne posted to Facebook

COVID-19: Daily update on the pandemic in Surrey, White Rock, Delta and beyond

MARCH 28: Delta council passes bylaw to fine people who don’t socially distance

White Rock council members stand by decision to close pier

Minimal push-back over closure to minimize chance of spreading COVID-19 virus

No plans to call in military right now to enforce COVID-19 quarantine: Trudeau

Trudeau unveils $7.5M for Kids Help Phone, $9M for vulnerable seniors amid COVID-19

QUIZ: How much do you know about the Olympics?

Put your knowledge to the test with these 12 questions

B.C. announces $3M for food banks to increase capacity during COVID-19

It is not clear how much of the money will flow towards Greater Victoria food banks

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

World COVID-19 update: U.S. expects 100,000 deaths; Oregon declares disaster

Comprehensive update of world news for Sunday, March 19.

B.C. Ferries passengers staying away, as asked, during COVID-19 pandemic

Ferry corporation says ridership down 70-80 per cent over the last week and a half

Sewers stitch masks to free up supplies for front-line health-care workers

“We have little old ladies sewing up a storm,” said Joan Davis

Experts weigh in on best handling of groceries during COVID-19 pandemic

Study suggests the virus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic

‘There is community’: B.C. councillor welcomes new baby into world amid COVID-19 pandemic

‘I realize there’s much more than fear and worry… there is hope, there is new life’: Jason Lum

Most Read