Why have a volunteer transportation program for the elderly and disabled in Fauquier County? In 2005 a group was formed called the Senior Care Network. Its mission was to bring together various organizations and citizens to address the lack of resources for seniors in Fauquier County. This network was comprised of representatives from Fauquier Hospital, Department of Social Services, churches, Rappahannock-Rapidan Community Services Board and the local Area Agency on Aging.
Each year the Senior Care Network would hold a “Community Conversation” Day. They would offer free screenings and have guest speakers addressing relevant topics for seniors in the community. A questionnaire was handed out at these events asking what seniors felt were their most pressing needs. Each year, transportation was the number one concern for the elderly.
Seniors need a convenient, affordable way to get to their doctor’s appointments. They want to maintain their independence for as long as they can. Many are on fixed-incomes with few family members living nearby to help. To maintain their health and well-being, it is important that they are able to get to their appointments and to get their groceries and prescriptions when needed.
Volunteer drivers were found. They came from churches and community organizations. A volunteer coordinator helped match drivers with requests. VolTran transported its first passenger in August 2007. From August 2007 to August 2010 our volunteer drivers transported 680 elderly and disabled citizens giving over 2200 hours of their time (between 4 and 5 rides per week). They travelled over 35,000 miles.
The successful implementation of this program influenced our decision to apply for official non-profit status. VolTran became a 501 (c) 3 Association in January of 2010. We have expanded our services to cover Fauquier County, Rappahannock County, and the northern Culpeper County area. Our purpose is to provide the transportation necessary to take care of the medical and social needs of the elderly, disabled, and others in serious need so they can remain independent and enhance their quality of life.
Now, in 2017, VolTran has 20 volunteer drivers who every month put in more than a hundred hours and drive hundreds of miles helping dozens of people in three counties get to their appointments.
Donations from grants and the community help us support a part-time coordinator, advertise our services, recruit volunteers and offer gas cards as incentives to our volunteer drivers.