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Program for Kingsport seniors in need of volunteers

Matthew Lane • May 6, 2019 at 1:30 PM

KINGSPORT — A new transportation service for seniors is coming to town next month. And it’s in need of volunteers.

MyRide TN Kingsport is a statewide program that offers door-thru-door transportation for seniors ages 60 and up who either don’t drive or have driving limitations. Initially, the program will be offered Monday through Friday, but officials are hoping to expand and grow the service to include the weekends.

The program is scheduled to launch in Kingsport on May 22 at 10 a.m.

Five volunteers are currently signed up to provide transportation. However, five more are needed before the launch can take place, said Lisa Christian, coordinator of MyRide TN Kingsport.

“We do need volunteers. That’s the one thing we need,” she said. “The more we have, the more rides that’ll be available.”

If you’d like to volunteer for the program, you must be 20 years of age or older, have a valid Tennessee driver’s license, a clean driving record and proof of insurance. And a reliable vehicle, of course, in good working order, Christian said.

For more information about the program, to schedule a ride or to volunteer, call Christian at (423) 530-6340.

ABOUT THE PROGRAM

It has been proven that without transportation, the overall health of a person declines, both physically and mentally. This service is different than other transportation programs in that volunteers go through the door and help seniors get to the car if needed and then help them through the door of their destination.

Funding for the program comes from a grant awarded by the Davidson County Chancery Court from the Senior Trust/Elder Trust settlement and through a contract administered by the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability.

Similar programs are in Jonesborough and Johnson City, and the one coming to the Model City was approved following a needs assessment that looked at the number of retirees and seniors living in the greater Kingsport area, Christian said.

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