ARE YOU A SAFE DRIVER WHO'S LOOKING TO HELP OUT IN THE COMMUNITY?
THE V-A OF CENTRAL CALIFORNIA IS LOOKING FOR A FEW VOLUNTEERS TO HELP VETERANS GET TO AND FROM THEIR MEDICAL APPOINTMENTS AT THE FRESNO V-A MEDICAL CENTER... AND THE THREE OUTPATIENT CLINICS IN MERCED, OAKHURST AND TULARE.
MARY GOLDEN AND CHUCK JONES OF THE VOLUNTEER DRIVER COORDINATOR PROGRAM JOINED ME ON KSEE SUNRISE THIS MORNING TO TALK ABOUT THE PROGRAM.
CHUCK JONES: we need drivers and more participation from the veterans who do nothing! (laughs) I;ve been doing this for 7 years now - i'm the coordinator up in the northern area up in oakhurst - we have a van in oakhurst merced and tulare and then we've got 2 in fresno - we definitely need more drivers and more participation.
GEORGE TAKATA: mary, what are some of the requirements you need to be a volunteer driver?
MARY GOLDEN: well, you need to bring in your valid california driver's license, a printout of your dmv record with a clean record for about 3 years, and then to pass a physical with us and then go through the rest of the application process - fingerprinting, background check, all of that.
GEORGE TAKATA: it's so important to get these vets the healthcare they need and to get to and from is so important so how many of these veterans that we have, how many drivers do you need?
MARY GOLDEN: well right now we have about 17 drivers - to fully run the program we need 40 drivers - that's in tulare, merced oakhurst and fresno areas.
GEORGE TAKATA: and where can you get an application - the website we had up on the screen - www.fresno.va.gov/giving or 559-228-5364 - chuck, i'm sure these vets are so appreciative of these people who volunteer to take them to and from their appointment.
CHUCK JONES: it is - it's quite a service that we have - i've been doing it for about 7 years and i've enjoyed it - we do a lot of work for these veterans - around the area we have stand downs for the veterans to get out and everything and we need transportation for that too - it's a little bit of work and a little bit of time effort but if you love it like I do, go for it!