Many in the community might think of Home James as a program that just runs during the holidays, but it’s become something more.
The Caledon chapter of the service has been operating at various events in town over the last couple of weeks, such as the Bolton Lions Steak and Lobster Dinner and Palgrave Rotary Wines of the World event earlier this month. And volunteers are scheduled to be on deck June 15 at Caledon Day, and next month for the Bolton Rotary three-day Ribfest (July 12, 13 and 14).
The Home James program offers a free and safe ride home for people who may have had too much to drink and don’t want to take the risk of driving impaired.
That the program has been a success is really not in any doubt. The numbers over the holiday season were impressive.
During the campaign, the program offered 360 rides, getting 822 people home safe. A total of 112 teams took part, involving 145 volunteers. The rides took in 10,688 kilometres. People availing themselves of the service often make financial contributions, even if it only involves emptying pockets of change, and they amounted to $9,105.78.
And word of the program’s good work has been spreading. Earlier this year, Dufferin-Caledon MP stood up in the House of Commons and praised the program.
“I’m very pleased to be recognizing an outstanding program that is saving lives in my riding of Dufferin-Caledon,” Tilson said in his statement to the House.
The local car dealers are in step with the program, helping out by supplying vehicles and other forms of support.
If the program lacks anything, it’s the volunteers to provide the rides home.
Call 905-951-9000, ext. 300 to reserve the service or just visit the Home James table or station at any of the events in which it’s participating.
Should anyone like to volunteer to help Home James at any of these events or for the fall season, visit the website at www.homejames-caledon.ca and go to volunteer tab for more information.
Written by Bill Rea