Goodman Jewish Family Services of Broward Recruiting JET Express Drivers

Pilot Volunteer Driver Program Will Help Older Adults Meet Transportation Needs

PLANTATION, Fla. – Goodman Jewish Family Services of Broward County (JFS), one of Broward’s oldest social service agencies, is launching a membership-based, pilot volunteer driver program – JET Express. Beginning in mid-June, the initiative is being implemented by JFS to help older adults meet their transportation needs.

The goal of JET Express is to help older adults in both the Jewish and general community remain active and independent by accessing safe and reliable transportation with community volunteers. Per its grant specifications, the pilot program will provide door-to-door transportation to a small number of area residents who are 80 years of age and older without readily available transportation. In addition, it will also provide care management to those who become members of the program. There is a 30-mile roundtrip limit, starting from the rider’s home and wheelchair-bound riders must be able to transfer themselves from their wheelchair into the volunteer’s car.

Volunteer drivers are being sought for this new community pilot program. Drivers must be at least 21 years of age, hold a valid driver’s license, have current auto insurance coverage, participate in an hour-long training and agree to take a minimum of one ride per month. In addition, volunteer drivers will be reimbursed at $0.19/per mile.

For nine years, Goodman JFS Director of Program and Volunteer Integration Dawn Staton directed a similar program for Jewish Family Services of Kansas City. As a result, she has an intimate knowledge of the impact the program has on its riders, as well as its volunteer drivers.

“JET Express is a volunteer driver program that will count on the community for support. Without that support, this exciting and innovative program cannot become reality,” Staton says. “However, by working together, JFS and Broward County’s residents can create a safe and accessible transportation system that answers the need of our older adults to travel with ease throughout the area.”

“I’ve seen many long-lasting friendships created between JET Express volunteers and riders. Volunteering for JET Express will be a wonderful way for community members to help older adults and, at the same time, will help them feel good by providing such a needed service,” she adds.

Research indicates transportation is among the most critical unmet needs for the older adult population, hampering their independence and increasing isolation and loneliness. Older Broward County residents can use the membership-based JET Express program for rides to doctor and dental appointments, the hairdresser, grocery shopping or other locations. Membership is $100 annually, which provides riders with transportation for five round-trips per month that need to be scheduled five business days in advance.

JET Express seeks community-minded volunteers who like to drive and work with older adults. Residents who wish to help older adults remain active, independent and connected to the community should contact Dawn Staton at 954-909-0829 or at dstaton@jfsbroward.org.

The pilot program has been made possible by support from the following Community Foundation of Broward Funds: Frank P. and Blanche S. Buck Fund, Stephen and Ethel Keller Fund, Berta Hirschl Fund and Mary and Alex Mackenzie Community Impact Fund.

Goodman Jewish Family Services of Broward (JFS) is dedicated to empowering individuals, strengthening families and protecting the vulnerable by providing exceptional social services to the entire community, based on Jewish values. The agency has been assisting residents and Holocaust survivors in Broward County for more than 54 years. Goodman JFS provides food, socialization opportunities, reparations, and home care and emergency services to Holocaust survivors and Broward County residents of all faiths who are in need. Its ongoing community outreach brings hope, dignity and joy to the lives of so many in need throughout Broward County. For more details, visit www.JFSBroward.org.

Founded in 1984, Community Foundation of Broward helps families, individuals, and corporations create personalized charitable funds that deliver game changing philanthropic impact. They provide leadership on community solutions, and foster philanthropy that connects people who care with causes that matter. Their 450 charitable funds represent $173 million in assets and have distributed $89 million to create positive change. For Good. For Ever.

For more information about Community Foundation of Broward, visit cfbroward.org or call (954) 761-9503. Connect at #cfbroward @cfbroward.