|RSVP Driver Services/Vets Helping Vets - Stoughton - 2022
||Amount Funded: $1,500.00
|The purpose of RSVP Vets Helping Vets (VHV) is to match veteran driver volunteers with veterans and their family members (primarily spouses) in need of rides to medical and other important appointments. As veterans themselves, our drivers can relate well to their passengers. If these ride services were not available, many Stoughton veterans would be unable to get to appointments that help them remain independent. Alternative transportation arrangements, especially to medical appointments in Madison, are expensive from Stoughton. This program is “more than a ride”. Volunteer drivers escort passengers, lend an arm to those who have trouble walking or negotiating stairs, assist them in and out of a vehicle, find their doctor in a clinic situation and provide safety checks by reporting concerns to established case managers.
In addition to providing a valuable service to veterans, this program provides Stoughton area volunteers with an opportunity for meaningful service, helping them to remain healthier through being active, contributing members to their community. We are celebrating RSVP of Dane County’s 50th Anniversary with a large volunteer appreciation event in Stoughton on 10/06/22. Volunteer recognition is critical to maintaining our volunteer corps.
Annual RSVP Driver Escort/VHV evaluations are sent to passengers to get feedback and improve our services. In our 2022 passenger survey, 97% of the passengers were satisfied with the service and 74% indicated that it helps them remain more independent and/or living in their own home. Here are a few commendations from this survey:
“The Stoughton taxi service doesn’t come to my address. I would have had to go to a nursing home or gone without physical therapy without RSVP’s help.” - Driver Escort passenger
"I feel independent without being a burden to my family. Plus I enjoy the drivers! I almost look forward to my medical appointments." - Driver Escort passenger
|RSVP Vets Helping Vets provides rides to veterans and their spouses who need transportation to medical (including dialysis) and other appointments. Volunteers use their own cars. The volunteer driver mileage reimbursement was increased to .625 cents/mile effective 7/1/22 (federal rate). There is no charge for the ride, but donations are accepted. Rides for younger vets are coordinated by the RSVP Vets Helping Vets Coordinator. Rides for older vets (age 60 and older) are coordinated by the Stoughton Area Senior Center. Requests for rides come from Dane County Transportation, VA Hospital, DAV of Wisconsin, as well as individual veterans in need of transportation services.
From August 1, 2021 - July 31, 2022, in the Stoughton area over 7,500 miles were driven by RSVP volunteers in the Driver Escort and Vets Helping Vets Programs at RSVP, 4269 of these miles driven for veteran passengers. There are 17 veteran passengers in Stoughton who rely on RSVP drivers to help them to crucial medical and other appointments.
RSVP provided between 400-500 rides for Stoughton passengers, over 200 of these rides were for local veterans. Finally, volunteers in the Stoughton Home Delivered Meals Program drove nearly 14,500 miles and volunteered over 1,450 hours.
*The RSVP Board of Directors decided for the safety of our older adult volunteer drivers, to temporarily suspend our Driver Escort service for veterans and older adults effective April 15, 2020. A small number of drivers participated in a pilot program to test out these new procedures starting in January 2021. As volunteer drivers were able to become fully vaccinated, our program reopened in June 2021. Only one-third of our drivers came back. Starting October 15, 2021, we began requiring all passengers to be fully vaccinated too for the safety of our drivers. We anticipate more drivers returning and new volunteers joining as we continue to carry out recruitment efforts.