More people in Delta and Richmond are deciding to let someone else take the wheel after a night of partying, according to the organizers of the communities’ Operation Red Nose program.
In the first three nights of Operation Red Nose, volunteers have seen a 40 per cent increase in the number of rides they have given compared to last year. That’s good news for other drivers on the road, but it does mean the program is fearful there won’t be enough volunteers for its busiest night of the year.
“For whatever reason, more people are calling in this year and taking advantage of our, by donation, safe ride home program.” Operation Red Nose coordinator Ellyn Schriber said in a release.
“We are concerned about New Year’s Eve though. More rides for the program mean we need more volunteers, and we have a real shortage of volunteers for New Year’s Eve.”
Operation Red Nose operates all over Canada, picking up drivers who feel they may not be fit to drive and taking both them and their car home. The Delta-Richmond program, hosted by Delta Gymnastics, picks up people in those two communities.
Operation Red Nose volunteers will be available on Friday Dec. 14, Saturday Dec. 15, Friday Dec. 21, Saturday Dec. 22 and on New Year’s Eve. Drivers can request a ride by calling 604-943-0460.
Although there is likely enough volunteers to cover the four days preceding Christmas, Schriber is worried they won’t be able to get enough volunteers on New Year’s Eve.
“We know that for some people this is a difficult night to volunteer, however it is one of our biggest and most important nights to provide safe rides homes,” Schriber said in a release.
As incentive, the release noted, Operation Red Nose will be providing a catered dinner that night for its volunteers. There will be a dedicated dinner room that will be decorated for the evening with streamers, noise makers and sparkling apple juice.
In addition, in an effort to attract some parent drivers, Delta Gymnastics will be providing free entry for the society’s Kids Night Out.
“While parents are volunteering, their children will be able to enjoy a great party and have a sage place to stay until they are finished with their shift,” Schriber explained.
Ordinarily, the Kids Night Out costs $50 per child, with the third kid in each family getting in free. The event is intended to be “an action-filled New Year’s Eve,” the release said, as the society’s gym is really a “giant indoor playground.”
“We want to offer parents, who may struggle to find caregivers for their children, an option for the kids to also celebrate the new year,” Ana Arciniega, executive director of Delta Gymnastics, said in the release.