Vancouver Island drivers volunteer for health workers in dangerous road conditions – BC
A group of truck and SUV owners on Vancouver Island volunteer to get health workers to work on time as a winter storm continues to make road conditions dangerous.
The private Facebook group of more than 4,600 members was formed in January 2020, but their drivers were particularly busy this holiday season with heavy snowfall and bitter cold temperatures.
“I really, really, really don’t feel like I’m doing anything,” said Mark Don, of Nanaimo, who has offered free ridesharing to dozen of health care workers since Christmas.
“It is literally the joy of my life. They are great people … and we all share the same goal of helping people. So why not help them … help others? “
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Members of the group called “VI Toyota 4 × 4 & VIHA Staff Transportation” post their location and availability on the Facebook page in order to be connected to health workers who need their services.
Don said he was first made aware of the need to drive by his fiancee, sister, and mother, all of whom work in the healthcare system. He joined the Facebook group in December and said the response from his “angel” passengers was “amazing”.
“As much as I do for them, they do for us – for our mental health, to keep us optimistic,” he said.
“They are very grateful and make us feel like we are doing a lot more than we think we are.”
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Daniel Spence, who also lives in Nanaimo, drove health workers around the area this winter. He estimates that in five days of volunteer work, from 3 a.m. to noon, he transported more than 130 people.
It’s a way to give back to the people who saved your life, he told Global News.
“I had 37 broken bones and recently had my second broken neck. I’m still here, just moving for the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. So if I can get them to work safely so that I can definitely help them. “
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Members of the Facebook group are waiting for their vehicles to withstand the winter conditions, added Spence.
The break for healthcare workers was “well deserved,” he said during a pandemic that tested and tested them in unimaginable ways.
“I don’t think they know how much we value them,” he said. “They don’t know how hard it is to do your job.”
Both Spence and Don said they will continue to offer rides in their vehicles as long as the winter driving conditions and need persist.
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