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Lincoln Hills’ resident enjoys volunteering for MyRides program

By: Carol Percy, Reporter
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Last December, Ray Carhart made a life decision to get more involved in his community.

“Frankly I was kind of bummed out about what was happening in the world and I wanted to do something positive for my community,” said the Lincoln Hills resident.

Carhart began volunteering for a Seniors First program called My Rides, a free transportation service to non-emergency medical appointments and other essential services for eligible Placer County residents.

A software professional who retired in 2011, Carhart tends to be a “solitary” person and the volunteer work helps him to be more social.

“I found I didn’t have much social contact, so it’s nice to meet a mix of new people,” Carhart said.

His MyRides route ranges from Lincoln to downtown Sacramento. While most rides are for medical appointments, Carhart occasionally takes riders to local shopping areas. The MyRides program currently services the communities of Applegate, Auburn, Colfax, Foresthill, Lincoln, Loomis, Meadow Vista, Newcastle, North Tahoe, Rocklin, Roseville, Sheridan, Weimar and Alta to Emigrant Gap.

Those who are eligible for the free ride service include Placer County seniors, individuals with disabilities and families with infants to 5 year olds who are unable to use conventional transportation services, according to Seniors First website information.

Program hours are from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, depending on the availability of drivers.

Prospective riders can contact a MyRides representative at 1-800-878-9222 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays to provide information about their transportation needs. Generally, rides must be scheduled at least three business days before the intended trip, according to the Seniors First website.
Volunteer drivers pick up riders at home and drive them to their destination. The driver typically stays on location with the rider and drives the rider home at the conclusion of the appointment.
No large oxygen tanks or wheelchairs are allowed.

This month, Carhart increased his Seniors First volunteer hours to include a food delivery route.

“I think it (the volunteer work) has generally improved my overall mood and sense of participation in my community,” Carhart said.

Located in Auburn, Seniors First has served Placer County seniors for more than 40 years.

“Our mission is to help seniors stay at home and independent for as long as possible,” said Seniors First executive director Jamee Horning.

For more information, visit Seniorsfirst.org or call 530-889-9500.