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 email@example.com for more information.
SafeRides Teen Hotline: 888.550.7433