ĎRides and Smilesí offered to seniors
There's a new service available to seniors in Rancho Bernardo, Poway, and Penasquitos. Rides and Smiles is a program that matches volunteer drivers using their own cars with seniors who need a ride.
The drivers realize how much they themselves value the ability to drive to places when they want, and they know the riders appreciate doing the same thing, under the auspices of this new collaboration.
The program is a group effort of Jewish Family Service, Palomar Pomerado Health, the RB Health Care Advisory Council, RB Joslyn Center, Poway Senior Center, and North County Inland Jewish Senior Center. This is all coordinated by Marilyn Greenblatt.
Local groups are getting on board to help. The RB Lions have provided five drivers. Eleven SHOK/OASIS school volunteers have signed on as drivers. RSVP is recruiting drivers from its ranks and riders from its "You Are Not Alone" program. Local senior centers are recruiting drivers and riders in their newsletters.
Riders must be 60 or older. There is no fee. Trips can be for any purpose and are not limited to the local area.
Drivers use their own cars. The program provides supplemental insurance and mileage reimbursement of 36 cents a mile. Drivers can establish any conditions they wish for rides they will give -- where the rider must live, how far the trip can be, how long it can take, the type of trip, and other factors.
If a rider and driver already know each other, they can register with the program, make their own arrangements, and be covered by the program. If a rider doesn't have a driver, he or she can phone in a week or more in advance and request a ride.
Greenblatt uses email and telephone to notify volunteer drivers of requested rides. Drivers sign up for the rides they are willing to give.
Initial reaction from both riders and drivers has been very positive. Drivers typically report back, saying, "My rider was the most delightful lady. It was a rewarding experience." And, of course, the riders are thrilled and appreciative.
Drivers undergo a brief orientation during which they learn how the program works and indicate their preferences for rides. They are fingerprinted for background checks, and their driving records are accessed from the DMV to ensure a good driving record. For more information or to register as a rider or driver, call Greenblatt at 858-674-1123. The more drivers who sign up, the more places the riders can go. Itís win-win.
* * * * *
Now that the Southern California grocery workers strike has ended, the San Diego Better Business Bureau (BBB) is cautioning consumers about a fraudulent prize promotion scam that could result in identity theft.
The BBB said it is warning about telemarketers who are expected to phone consumers to announce they have been selected to receive free groceries at their neighborhood supermarket as a goodwill gesture to win back customers after the 20-week-long strike.
However, in order to receive the free prize, the con-artist will demand an up-front shipping and handling fee, which must be paid with a credit card or as an electronic withdrawn from a bank account.
"Revealing personal information to a stranger could get your identity stolen and your credit rating damaged," said Gerry Wilson, former local BBB president and CEO. "It is not a free prize if you have to pay for it. A prize is something you win with no strings attached."
The BBB said if you are selected to win a prize, you should not be required to pay a fee, purchase any product or provide any financial information in order to receive the prize.
Also, the BBB advises to avoid phoning any 900 number to verify your prize because the number could be a high-priced toll call to an overseas location.
Those scammers take advantage of everything, fires, strikes and other emergencies. Donít let them win.
Courtesy RB NEWSJournal
March 25, 2004
| Home | Archives |