by Brian Festerling, SAM’s Tram Coordinator
Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the SAM’s Tram service from Ascension has been pretty quiet. However, now that many of us have vaccines and feel more comfortable being out and about, it’s time to reintroduce the program! SAM’s Tram is Ascension’s Senior Adult Ministries transportation service. We match seniors from our congregation that need rides to local appointments with Ascension volunteers that are willing to drive.
If you’re a senior who needs a ride (or a caregiver for one), please contact me with the ride details. My contact info is at the end of the article. The more lead time you can give me -- at least a week or two is best -- the more likely I can find a driver for you. I’ll let you know either way. The service is free! If you feel compelled to give something, you can give your driver a dollar to go to Ascension’s Caring Ones to help the needy in our area.
We’re always looking for more volunteer drivers to add to our roster. There is NO long-term commitment. I blast out detailed ride requests via e-mail to all of our drivers. You need only say “yes” to a ride that works for your schedule, and your only commitment is for that one ride. Many of us work and can only drive occasionally. That’s OK! The more drivers we have on our roster, the more likely we can fulfill a given request, and the workload gets spread around. This is a simple and effective ministry and we’d love to have you join us! Please call or e-mail me if you’re interested.
“[SAM’s Tram was] a blessing to my mom when she could not drive anymore. The friendly drivers got her to her weekly hair appointments, and occasional other doctor/dentist appointments. The social interaction with the drivers gave her a lift and became a bright spot in her declining life quality. I was pleasantly surprised and pleased when two drivers who were more frequent came to my mom’s celebration of life service. What a dedicated group of people, making a difference in the lives of our elders!” — Excerpt from a thank you note written by the daughter of one of our riders
- Pastor Steve started SAM’s Tram in 2011.
- Since 2017 we have had 287 ride requests and fulfilled 220 of them (77%)
- 69% of our requests are for doctor appointments, 9% for worship services, 8% for beauty/barber, and 14% “other”
Please pray for our SAM’s Tram riders and drivers, and contact me anytime if we can be of service to you, or if you you’d like to join us as a driver.
Brian Festerling SAM’s Tram Coordinator
ps - we've had an uptick in requests and could always use new drivers.