Neighbors Driving Neighbors recently received a $5,895 grant from the Maine Community Foundation, according to a release from the nonprofit organization. This grant will help to schedule rides with the volunteer drivers, increase the number of riders, and support the elderly people and others who don’t drive so they can live in their homes and towns.

The program is a nonprofit organization that provides free transportation for adults for errands, exercise sessions, medical appointments, shopping, socialization or volunteering in the five towns it services (Belgrade, Fayette, Mount Vernon, Rome, and Vienna). It began in November 2015 when it provided three rides. By the end of 2018, 46 drivers had transported 102 riders 2,395 times and traveled 47,860 miles.

The heart of the organization are the volunteer drivers, they have donated more than 2,342 hours. The volunteer drivers don’t merely drive, they provide friendly, respectful, safe, door-to-door transportation that allows people to stay in their homes and provides respite for their families, according to the release.

The program is managed by an all-volunteer board of directors and two part-time coordinators. The coordinators care about both the riders and the drivers and do many other much-needed tasks. The program depends on grants, such as this one, individual donors, and fundraising events.

Those who live in one of the five towns listed above and need transportation, are interested in becoming a volunteer driver, or would like to donate, can email [email protected] or call the coordinators at 860-0677. Information can be found on its website neighborsdrivingneighbors.org.

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