Youth Unlimited’s SafeRide Home program has begun its 20th year of service to youth in Abbotsford, Mission and Aldergrove.
The program, which began in September 1992, provides free rides home every weekend, thanks to donations from individuals, businesses and organizations such as the Kiwanis Club.
Doug McKellan, director of SafeRide Home, said about 50 youths use the service every weekend. Of those, the average age is 16, and 56 per cent are girls.
Al Maclean began the program in 1992 after three teens he knew were killed in impaired driving accidents within one year. For the first 10 years, the program operated with Maclean using his own car.
In 2002, money became available to purchase a vehicle, and Maclean selected a Honda Odyssey mini van because of its safety rating.
Last year, an Abbotsford businessman offered to lease a new Odyssey for the program’s use. Honda Way in Abbotsford ensures the vehicles are mechanically safe, and volunteers offer their time to drive the teens.
McKellan said an increase in gas prices has resulted in a need for more donations. For more information, call 604-835-0380 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.