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SafeRides Will be 'Slammed' Halloween Weekend

Here's the best one-two-hour-a-month volunteer job in Los Gatos.

What’s SafeRides? It ...

  • Gives free, confidential car rides to teens
  • Runs 10 p.m.-2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights “when school is in session”
  • Services the Los Gatos, Saratoga and Los Gatos Mountain areas
  • Is run entirely by volunteers, managed by Community Against Substance Abuse, or CASA and uses the space aptly named, "Cafe Hope," donated by Grace United Methodist Church

Last Friday, Oct 19, I learned more about SafeRides by attending its open house training.

SafeRides started with the prime objective of keeping teens who’ve been drinking off the road. We all know about tragic car accidents.

SafeRides has expanded its services to giving even if alcohol is NOT involved.

The premise of this program really expanded my consciousness. The caring volunteers in this organization recognized that teens are dealing with other issues besides “drinking and driving.”

Even when there isn’t a clear “safety” issue, teens often find themselves in distressing, or just plain uncomfortable situations, when they’re “out.” They don’t have a way to get home, and for whatever reason, they don’t want to “hassle” their parents. Some of us remember, yes?

SafeRides is part of an evolution, in my mind. It’s building a community of adults and teens, who reach out, and say, “I’m here for you. I will take you home.” What a warm, caring message, not just for our teens now, but for our younger children, who hear about it. How healing for those of us who had rough teen years.

At the open house training, I ate good food, met some of the tireless teen and adult volunteers, and became familiar with the wonderfully welcome community of supporters and volunteers. I also learned about: 

  • What is alcohol poisoning?
  • What should I do if I suspect someone has alcohol poisoning?
  • What’s the difference between calling 911, Los Gatos-Monte Sereno Police 408-354-8600, Santa Clara County Sheriff 408-299-3233, Poison Control 1-800-222-1222? (Answer: Speed with which they can come help you.)
  • If I volunteer, what are my duties as a driver? Navigator? Phone operator?

Oh, and did I mention that they would love to have you volunteer, even one night a month, one or two hours? That they need you THIS weekend, when they expected to be "slammed"? 

Contact Karla Albright via email at kmalbright@gmail.com for more information.

SafeRides Teen Hotline: 888.550.7433

References:

http://aplaceforteens.org/SAFERIDES.html

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Los-Gatos-SafeRides/282686451742340

http://www.mercurynews.com/los-gatos/ci_21780084/saferides-program-helps-teens-get-home-no-questions

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Irene Aida Garza-Ortiz October 27, 2012 at 02:10 AM
Great cause!
Dyan Chan October 30, 2012 at 08:08 PM
Thank you for sharing information about this important agency and service! How did they do over the weekend?
Ann-Nicole Williams October 31, 2012 at 01:04 AM
I am so impressed with this group. I had no idea how dedicated these volunteers were and what dedication the program manager and a few folks do to keep this program going until one day I volunteered. It is a great way to do a little community service with a bunch of great people. Also, this group doesn't ask for much yet they make a big difference in our community. The great thing is- this is a program that makes a positive impact and helps keeps our teens safe and our roads too. The best thing people can do is volunteer one night, one hour---just something helps and I say go see behind the scenes one night. Better yet get a group and make a difference together one night---like a maybe a youth group, sports team, boy scouts, youth commissioners or a service group like the Los Gatos Rotary or Lions Club or a local business and help SAFERIDES keep teens sake. This way it's a win win WIN! Contact Karla Albright or CASA and they will gladly connect you to the program.
Karla Albright October 31, 2012 at 06:42 AM
Thanks to this article ( YaY Patch!), we had several new volunteers and combined with the hardworking regulars we were fully staffed with 3 cars. We were able to cover the increased volume of calls. They expect higher than usual calls this weekend as well. Come check us out. Ann-Nicole's idea of coming with your group, team, club etc is excellent. Think of it like team bonding. Hope it works for you!

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