- $20 (+fees) until June 2nd
- $25 (+fees) after June 2nd
- $30 at the door. CASH ONLY.
Posted on May 17, 2014
Posted on May 17, 2014
SafeRide Home by Youth Unlimited (YU), which began service in 1992, is setting off the warning flares. Over 20,000 youth in Abbotsford, Mission, and Aldergrove have used this not-for-profit service and have been safely driven home for free. However, if trends continue SafeRide Home (SRH) may be permanently parked this August. SafeRide Home is the first mobile service of this kind offered by Youth Unlimited to address the various issues young people (ages 10-19) face. The youth may be impaired, broken-hearted, broken-spirited, bullied, beaten, lost, abandoned, or they just need to get home safely.
Al McLean began SafeRide Home (SRH) in 1992 out of a heartfelt desire to prevent deaths resulting from teenage drinking and driving. The motivation behind SRH was the death of three teenagers within a year; teenagers that Al knew. Each one had been killed in drinking and driving accidents. For the first 10 years, SRH operated with Al using his own car. In 2002, funds became available for the purchase of the first SafeRide van. By 2008, SRH had up to a 3-hour wait list. In 2010, an Abbotsford businessman chose to lease a new van for the SafeRide Home program. The wait list was reduced considerably. Big Al passed away in 2011 and his legacy lives on through the staff and volunteers of Youth Unlimited.
Youth Unlimited is facing some unique financial challenges this year with SRH. The lease of their second van ends this August so an additional $16,000 is needed to buy out the lease and retain this vehicle. The first SRH van is getting older and will need to be replaced in the near future. Finally, SRH’s primary partners, the Abbotsford Heat and Heat Foundation, are leaving town with their financial support.
Youth Unlimited is a faith-based organization which can face the added difficulty of raising funds through community grants. Many grants are not accessible to faith-based organizations. YU continues to apply for grants with the hope of being recognized for their community focused efforts such as SafeRide Home.
In regards to teenage drinking and driving SRH serves as a harm reduction service, while also playing an important preventive role. “The rate of alcohol-related accidents can drastically be reduced if the right education is introduced to teenagers – the main source of the problem. Most drunk-driving accidents have a person aged sixteen to twenty-four in the mix. This means that in order to effectively solve the climbing number of impaired driving deaths, Abbotsford must ensure teenagers and young adults are properly educated about driving under the influence.”
SRH passengers are challenged to rethink why they drink and to help them find more positive ways to enjoy their lives. In the SRH vans and in the community, the staff and volunteers have many candid conversations about harm reduction and healthy lifestyle practices. Young people respond well to SafeRide Home efforts and continue to express their gratitude. One teen said, “[I]…don’t know what we would have done without SafeRide Home”. Another, “SafeRide Home is a life saver!”
Every weekend about 50 youth get safe rides home. The average age is 16 and 56% of riders are girls.
The SafeRide Home service operates solely by the donations of many generous individuals, businesses and service organizations such as the Kiwanis Club, Lanka Jewels, Abbotsford Heat Hockey Club, and the Abbotsford Heat Foundation.
To find out more about how you can become a partner with SafeRide Home and Youth Unlimited,
you can contact Doug McKellan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 604-835-0380.
Posted on May 7, 2014
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