Volunteering to assist with the HELP program through the Los Alamos Volunteer Association (LAVA) can be most rewarding!
The HELP (not an acronym) program coordinates drivers for seniors to medical appointments outside of Los Alamos – places such as Espanola and Santa Fe.
Many people do not have access to transportation for appointments outside of Los Alamos County, yet they are in need of lifesaving procedures that are provided at other locations.
The HELP volunteer drivers ensure that these patients are able to make it to these appointments. Volunteer HELP drivers can be reimbursed for mileage through the LAVA office, and LAVA provides supplemental insurance.
This program was started in 1982 and, until April of this year, was sponsored by the Los Alamos Lions Club. For many years Barbara Croley worked tirelessly to coordinate the HELP drivers. LAVA assumed responsibility for the program in May and the drivers are coordinated by Nan Phillips, a LAVA volunteer.
HELP has provided transportation to medical appointments for more than 30 years and, because of this program, patients are able to receive needed medical attention at medical facilities outside of Los Alamos County.
The amount of time involved varies depending on the location and duration of the medical appointment. Many times drivers will be able to run their own errands while the appointment takes place.
It is hoped that HELP volunteer drivers will only make one trip per month; however, because of the small number of drivers volunteering, many are asked to help several times a month.
Please consider volunteering your time to fill this important need in our community. If you are interested in becoming a HELP driver, contact LAVA Director Linda Boncella at 505.662.8923 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. LAVA is located in the lower level of the Betty Ehart Senior Center at 1101 Bathtub Row.
Thank you to the current HELP drivers – you make such a difference in our community!