The City East parishes of St. Andrew, St. George, St. Stanislaus Kostka and Church of the Annunciation in Rochester recently inaugurated a new ministry that will provide senior citizens with transportation to and from medical appointments and Mass.
“We have a large percentage of seniors in our parishes, so we try to provide this service for people who can’t afford to pay (for transportation) or who don’t have family around to help out,” said Pat Martin, who coordinates the parishes’ City East Ministry with Seniors.
City East Ministry with Seniors approached Lifespan of Greater Rochester Inc. with the idea of starting a transportation ministry, Martin said. Lifespan — which provides information, guidance and other services to older adults — helped secure funding for the transportation ministry, which is called City East Senior Transportation Ministry. Lifespan also helps recruit and train volunteer drivers.
“There are not a lot of options in our community for transportation,” said Ann Beckerman Germanow, who coordinates Lifespan’s volunteer transportation program.
“You don’t realize how many people need a service ’til you start asking the right questions,” Martin noted.
The transportation ministry officially opened in June, Germanow said, and since that time the number of people volunteering to be drivers has slowly been increasing. Although volunteers are stepping forward to serve as drivers, Martin noted that the ministry still needs all the help it can get.
“We have wonderful volunteers,” Martin said. “We even have senior volunteers, and it’s a delight to work with them.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: Those interested in becoming a driver for City East Senior Transportation Ministry may contact Lifespan at 585/244-8400, ext. 142. Seniors from Church of the Annunciation, St. Andrew, St. George or St. Stanislaus who are in need of transportation may contact Pat Martin at 585/266-6570.