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Southern Area Agency on Aging, based in Martinsville, has begun a grant-funded program to help people without transportation get to work or job interviews.  The program, funded by the Community Foundation of Western Virginia as well as the United Way of Martinsville-Henry County, provides funding until the end of June 2019 to reimburse volunteer drivers who participate in the program.

The program is targeted to adults age 18 and over residing in Martinsville and Henry County who have no access to transportation to work or job interviews in the area.  The program is not permanent, and also involves a counseling component to help the client achieve independence with regard to transportation and financial stability, with the ultimate goal being attainment of personal transportation.

The intent of this program is to help those without transportation get to work or job interviews in Martinsville and Henry County, but a major need of the program is volunteer drivers willing to participate.  While the drivers volunteer their time, they will be reimbursed 50 cents per mile.  So if the driver drives a client a total of 10 miles (5 miles each way), for instance, the driver will be reimbursed $5.  If you drive a fuel-efficient vehicle, the reimbursement you receive will likely surpass what you spend, making this a net gain for you.  Additionally, and most importantly, you will gain the satisfaction knowing that you took the time to make a difference in someone’s life, helping them to get to an interview or a job that can have a profoundly positive impact on their life.  If you would like to volunteer as a driver, you’ll need a clean, reliable, and safe vehicle, and you’ll undergo a background check.

If you’re interested in participating in the program, either as a client or a driver, please contact Mandy Folman, Mobility Manager with the Southern Area Agency on Aging at (276) 632-6442, or email her at [email protected].

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