Rudy is ready to take the reins.
Operation Red Nose volunteers will soon be back on the road for another holiday season, with service beginning next weekend and continuing into the wee hours of the New Year.
Working in teams of three on Friday and Saturday nights throughout most of December, volunteers will be available to pick up holiday revelers in Langley, Surrey and White Rock and drive them home (or to their next party) in the client’s vehicle.
As always, there is no charge for the service but donations will be accepted on behalf of Langley Gymnastics Foundation.
For some, volunteering with Operation Red Nose has become a holiday tradition in itself.
When Langley Gymnastics first began offering the safe-ride-home service more than a decade ago, it was primarily people involved with the club who volunteered.
“Before, it was mostly gym parents,” said Jessica Marohn, co-ordinator of ORN Langley-Surrey.
“Now different workplaces and organizations (are signing up) — groups who want to volunteer together,” she said.
“It’s a fun way to spend an evening — and you get free food out of it.”
Volunteer applications are coming in, but Marohn said the club can always use more.
And its not just drivers and navigators they need. There are jobs to be done at headquarters, too, whether it’s taking calls, dispatching vehicles or ensuring that the other volunteers get fed.
“Some people just don’t feel comfortable driving in the winter on icy roads, said Marohn.
Marohn expects the pace to pick up as people adjust to the idea that the holiday season is just around the corner.
“Everyone’s thinking, ‘It can’t be Christmas already,” she said.
But she urges people not to wait too long to sign up, because every volunteer is required to undergo a criminal record check through the RCMP. The check is offered at no charge to volunteers who provide a form, which is available on the ORN website.
For those planning to take advantage of the service, it will be available this year on Nov. 28 and 29; Dec. 5 and 6; Dec. 12 and 13; Dec. 19 and 20 and on New Year’s Eve.
However, ORN drivers will not be on the roads on Dec. 26 or 27.
Phones will be answered between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m. but volunteers will continue driving until everyone who’s reserved a ride has been delivered.
And it doesn’t matter if your destination is outside the local ORN’s territory. Co-ordinating with drivers in other municipalities, ORN will be able to arrange rides to almost any destination in the Lower Mainland.
To volunteer, download a form from the Operation Red Nose website here.
To arrange a a ride in Langley, Surrey or White Rock call 604-532-0888.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.