A Thank You to our Summit County Transportation Volunteers

by Bev Snyder, Transportation Coordinator

Thank you.

As I reflect on the past 4 years of working with an amazing team of volunteers to provide free transportation to all residents in Summit County, I  realize that I have made a lot of great friends.

This team is made up of the most caring, and compassionate people I have encountered in my 33-years of working with the Red Cross. You have worked on days that were miserably cold and snowy, days that were hot and humid and never complained. I just want to say thank you for letting me be a part of this team, and thank each and every one on the team for all that you have done.

Why We Red Cross: Transportation Driver

Bunny Perren volunteers as a driver for the Transportation Program with the Summit and Portage Counties Chapter.

Bunny Perren volunteers as a driver for the Transportation Program with the Summit and Portage Counties Chapter.

After teaching for 38 years with Norton City Schools, Bunny Perren was ready to embark on a new adventure.

In talking to her friend, Bev Snyder (who is the Director of Community Services for the American Red Cross of Northeast Ohio) she found her next undertaking.

The Summit and Portage Counties chapter of the American Red Cross offers transportation services for non-life threatening medical appointments in Summit County. Each of the drivers who assist the chapter’s large roster of clients is a volunteer.

Bunny knew how the struggle to get a loved one to necessary medical appointments could take a toll on a family. She and her three sisters had shared the duty of transporting their mother to cancer treatments while balancing their own family and work obligations.

“I feel like we are doing a service that no one else in the community has taken the time to do,” said Bunny. For the past two years she has volunteered as a driver at least one day a week.

Bunny knows each of her clients’ stories. In the ten or so minutes it takes to get from their home to their appointment and back she listens to their tales of life, children and grandchildren. And she offers a place to vent their frustrations.

Even when she encounters a client for the first time, Bunny’s kind personality is quick to put them at ease.

“You can become their cheerleader,” she said. “I love this job!”

If you are interested in becoming a Transportation Volunteer, drivers are needed in both Summit and Stark Counties. Visit redcross.org/volunteer to get started.