For Jayson Oldham, associate pastor at the Ladner Baptist Church, the light bulb went off in a clear and concise way on a problem he was interested in solving.
"Our church was thinking of ways we could service the community to show our care and love in a tangible way," he said.
The answer came to him as a result of conversations with friends, "Why recreate the wheel and try to do something new when Operation Red Nose has been servicing the community in such an effective way?" It didn't take long for 25 church members to step up and sign up to join this national safe driving campaign.
"It was such a relief to hear they were helping out as our service has become so popular that our need for volunteers is greater than ever," said Carlene Lewall, coordinator of Operation Red Nose Delta-Richmond.
"Saturdays Dec. 14 and 21, as well as, NewYear's Eve are particularly short of volunteers and high in bookings, so we are asking the public to give volunteering for Operation Red Nose a try this year."
Volunteers work in teams of three people.
One person drives the client and their vehicle back home, a navigator helps the driver, and an escort driver follows the client's car.
The night begins at 8 p.m. with training at Delta Gymnastics Society, the host organization in Ladner. At 9 p.m., volunteers are sent to various pubs and Christmas parties to raise awareness in the community. "Calls begin to pour in starting at 10 p.m. and they keep coming strong until 3 a.m.," said Lewall.
For the last 11 seasons of Operation Red Nose, the Delta Richmond campaign has provided almost 4,700 rides to people and their vehicles.
With an average three people per vehicle, this equates to about 14,000 people benefiting from the program. "It's not only those whom we safely drive to their destination that we directly affect, but it is all those clueless drivers on the road that could by chance be in front, behind or across from an unsafe driver, or maybe even an innocent bystander, or a person crossing the road," said Lewall.
All volunteers are required to complete a criminal record check, which is free.
For more information, visit www.operationrednosedelta.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 604-943-0460. The remaining nights of Operation Red Nose are Dec. 13, 14, 20, 21 and NewYear's Eve.
submitted by Ana Arciniega, volunteer