The mission is simply wonderful. In order for cancer patients to worry less about how to get to their appointments, Drivers for Survivors provides much needed support for those who already have enough on their emotional plates.
Executive Director Sherry Higgs started this non-profit and shared her enthusiasm with how her volunteers throughout the past five years have been life savers. More often than not, volunteer drivers - who have gone through back ground checks, have had a good driving record for at least five years, and have a reliable, working car - become friends with their clients.
Drivers for Survivors has been around for almost five years serving clients living in Fremont, Union City and Newark. As of July 1st, volunteers have since begun serving clients living in more Alameda County cities: Hayward, San Lorenzo, San Leandro, Castro Valley, Ashland and Cherryland. It is located at 39270 Paseo Padre Parkway, Suite 355.
Dubbed volunteer companion drivers by Higgs, these angels on wheels can decide how often they want to volunteer. Some people only have time to drive clients on weekends or once a week; the need is always there, but it's a stress-free scheduling environment because there is no schedule. There are no time slots that need to be filled in advance.
Ms. Higgs says that "volunteers will get an e-mail every day or a call when a (a pick up) needs to be fulfilled. No private information is given. For example an e-mail will list that the client is a Fremont resident, and his or her Fremont appointment starts at 9:30 a.m. and ends at 3:25 p.m at the Fremont Kaiser location. The volunteers reply back and [decide to take] number one or number five on the list. Sometimes volunteers choose a few appointments at once. Sometimes drivers bond really well with their passengers and decide to keep [giving] their passengers rides."
The logo on the brochures shows a red heart atop wheels. Ms. Higgs expressed the importance of "the synergy of working together" because Drivers for Survivors is doing the right thing.
"It's important to keep the momentum going," Higgs said. She speaks with such pride and love of the non-profit. She started as a one woman show and she understands the value of volunteers' time and efforts. Her energy and passion for the simple, but life-saving mission is heartfelt: love for the organization's mission is what keeps her driving onward.
If you're in the Alameda County area and would like to volunteer, please call 510-579-0535 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.