This Canada Day, Kal Tire celebrates everyday Canadians hitting the road to help other Canadians. Many organizations in Canada benefit from the outstanding dedication and time volunteers bring to them. Without volunteers many organizations would simply not exist, and it’s often not until you or a family member is in need of assistance do these organizations and the work of volunteers become known. Specifically, the role of volunteer drivers is one that Kal Tire wanted to recognize.
We take for granted the simple things in life we have to help us day to day. I got my driver’s license the day after I turned sixteen and haven’t really given it much thought since. It wasn’t until exactly a year ago this month – in June of 2018 – that the impact of being without a driver’s license hit me with a force so strong it nearly knocked me to the ground. After suffering an out-of-the-blue seizure, the ER doctor and neurologist on call determined that, for the time being, my drivers license had to be suspended. There was no test, no argument I could bring forth, it was simply a procedural step taken that day in the ER and our family was left figuring out what to do next. Thankfully, my license was only suspended for a few months over the summer while doctors determined a diagnosis and course of treatment but in that time while dealing with all the scary parts of a new health diagnosis I also had to rely on others to get pick me up to go for groceries, or take my kids and me to the mall so we could spend a few hours out of the house. I can’t imagine what it’s like not only not being able to drive and have that independence long-term, but to also feel ill and tired after cancer treatments, for example, and not even have the energy to ask a friend for a ride, knowing they’d do it in a heartbeat but not wanting to be a bother. Volunteer drivers are angels on wheels, don’t you think?
Together, the contest entrants drove 566,000 kilometres in the last year alone to help people in need—single moms needing a ride to radiation treatment, seniors awaiting a warm, healthy meal, and youth with different abilities participating in social activities.
From an incredible host of submissions from BC to Ontario, eight amazing volunteers were selected as winners. While these driving volunteers help make our communities go‘round, all that time on the road takes a toll on their vehicles and tires.
Three top prizes were awarded:
- Trevor West; Edmonton, AB; Canadian Cancer Society’s Wheels of Hope
- Randy Scharf; Richmond, BC; Health & Home Care Society of BC (Meals on Wheels)
- Diane Thompson; Dunsford, ON; Community Care Health & Care Network
These three winners each enjoy a prize package for their personal vehicle that includes a new set of tires, a wheel alignment, oil changes for a year, summer and winter wiper blades, a brake replacement and a $500 donation to their volunteer organization.
Five runner up prizes were also awarded:
- Wendy Ireland; Surrey, BC; The Volunteer Cancer Drivers Society
- Peter Simpson; Surrey, BC; The Volunteer Cancer Drivers Society
- Barbara Gray; Calgary, AB; Canadian Cancer Society
- George Spence; Kingston, Ontario; Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB)
- Joe Hall; Milton, Ontario; Canadian Cancer Society’s Wheels of Hope
These five runner-up winners each enjoy a new set of tires and a wheel alignment for their personal vehicle and a $500 donation to their volunteer organization.
You can learn more about this contest and each of the winners at KalTire.com and in the coming weeks I’ll be sharing more info online about each of the winners to highlight their work and thank them for their volunteer service!
What about you? Have you ever had to rely on a volunteer driver (whether part of an organization or maybe someone in your own circle who stepped up to help you or your family)? Or do you know someone who volunteers their time to drive others and deserves a shout out of recognition?
I’m so happy to partner with Kal Tire to further share the role of volunteer drivers in our society and thank them ever further. We’d like to hear about a volunteer driver you know of, and reward one lucky reader with a prize package to pass along to that volunteer as our way of saying thank you from Kal Tire and the Feisty Frugal & Fabulous reader community!
The Kal Tire prize package includes 1 oil change and a Road Side Safety Kit (total prize value $300!)
To enter to win, just fill in your name and email address in the form below and click BEGIN. Then, leave a comment on this blog post telling us about a volunteer driver in your life that deserves a shout-out!