Dial-A-Bus and the Dial-A-Bus family did our best in the catastrophic year of 2020, but in 2021 we were a whole year better at catastrophe, and it showed.
Not only did we continue to provide Benton County’s seniors and people with disabilities their essential services, we also continued transporting children to school and did so while ensuring that we did not spread COVID to our vulnerable clients. In the two years of this pandemic, only two of our sixty employees have tested positive because we are proactive and disciplined among ourselves.
As we have said before, we will continue to be “The Agency That Says Yes” to the vulnerable and disadvantaged members of our community. This year we expanded our services in order to provide for people in any way we could. Below are just a few examples:
- We trained our drivers to work with kids who have experienced trauma just to make their ride to school a little easier.
- We shopped and delivered groceries for our clients who could not leave their houses.
- We provided transportation to our homeless community so they could take showers, get medical care, and have warm food.
- When the food bank called and asked for help, we were delivering food for their clients 24 hours later.
- We expanded service to school children by ensuring that our neediest families had food, household supplies, and school supplies during closures.
- When the dialysis clinic in Corvallis shut down for two months, we dug deep and spent $8,000 to make sure that not one of our clients missed a single treatment at the surrounding clinics.
- When COVID numbers spiked again, we started helping Good Samaritan Hospital when they were forced to discharge patients who have no family or other means of transportation. We responded to calls at all hours of the night and morning to make sure discharged patients got home. In a few cases, when they did not have a home to go to, our donors stepped up and made sure they did.
Employees, volunteers, and donors stepped up
We’ve always known that Dial-A-Bus truly has some of the most amazing people behind us in so many ways. These last few years have just proven that further. Our employees, volunteers, and donors show us every day how much they care.
- Dispatchers got up from their desk jobs and picked up elderly ladies themselves because they didn’t want “their ladies” to wait 10 extra minutes.
- Donors from as far away as 3,000 miles were touched in some way by our work and helped us do more of it. Big hearts from Los Angeles, California; Cape Cod, Massachusetts; Poughkeepsie, New York; North Carolina; Mesa, Arizona; Vermont, Columbus, Ohio; Boulder, Colorado; New Jersey; Ocean City, Maryland; The House of Mackson, and more pitched in.
- During a funding shortfall this summer, our Safety Manager, who has 35 years of experience and has won monetary safety awards for the agency three years in a row, secretly put himself on volunteer status and stopped taking a paycheck. When our Director figured it out three months later and told him we would be getting a check making up for the last three months, he looked at our Director without expression, paused and said, “Nope.”
- During that same funding shortfall our volunteer drivers didn’t write letters or complain to their local officials. They just volunteered more. And then more after that.
- A new employee driving the late shift asked his trainer how late they work. The veteran responded, “Same time every night, until all my people are home safe.”
- One of our dispatchers, in between working and raising two young children with a third on the way, wrote a successful grant that provided fully prepared Christmas meals for many of our elderly clients who cannot provide for themselves. Then she delivered them. She did all of this without ever being asked. She just did it.
- Through our connections at the schools and with the other local care agencies, we identified the individuals with the most need, the single moms working two jobs, the elderly folks who live alone, the brother and sister living with an uncle because they lost both parents to COVID, and so on, and so on; and made sure ALL of our donors’ generosity went directly to those people.
No overhead. No administrative costs. Every last cent.
New ways to give
We got a little creative this year and found new ways for our donors to give.
- We set up campaigns through Donorbox, which now allows donors to give with a credit/debit card even if you don’t have a Paypal account.
- We signed up with Goodshop so that people could sign up and support us with every computer search on Goodsearch. Just make us your cause by searching for dial a bus.
- We received community rewards through Fred Meyer so that supporters can connect their Fred Meyer’s shopping card to Dial A Bus. We will receive donations from the store when you use your Fred Meyer’s card. Search “YD976” or “Dial a Bus” to select us as your cause.
- We set up a Venmo account as an easy way to make donations when you take a free trip in our bus.
- We made an account with Home Instead Charities through their Give65 program, which gives us the opportunity to earn matched donations twice a year.
- Last, but not least, we were finally approved through Facebook Charitable Giving as a nonprofit organization. This means that people can now donate directly on our Facebook page, create fundraisers for us that they share with their friends and family, and they can donate directly on any posts that we turn into a fundraiser.
Thank you for being such an amazing, supportive community and allowing us to continue to do this work. We couldn’t do it without you and we can’t wait to see what we can accomplish together in 2022.