Operation Red Nose: Home safely for hundreds

Friday night, a team of volunteers drove through the streets of Abbotsford and Mission, working until 3 a.m.

Christine Scott

Friday night, a team of volunteers drove through the streets of Abbotsford and Mission, working until 3 a.m. Tonight they will be back on the roads.

Their mission is to keep people safe.

Operation Red Nose (ORN) Abbotsford Mission is nearing the end of another campaign and, despite having fewer volunteers than past years, has already provided hundreds of people with a safe ride home.

The program provides a designated driver for people who have had too much holiday cheer and wisely decide not to drive.

The free service, which relies on donations, sends two or more ORN volunteers in a car to a caller’s location.

One volunteer drives the client’s car home while the second follows in a separate vehicle.

Finding volunteers to work the late-night shifts is always a challenge. ORN operates from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m.

“We have lower numbers. I guess we’re running at about 80 per cent of the volunteers we had last year,” said Christine Scott, communications co-ordinator for PacificSport Fraser Valley.

ORN is run by PacificSport, the same organization that brought the program to B.C. 16 years ago.

In order to deal with the volume of calls with fewer volunteers, Scott said they often reduce the pick-up teams from three people to two. As a result, they have been able to continue to provide the service.

“We never turn down people. We take calls right until 3 a.m. and if there’s a two-hour wait, we let people know … A  lot of times people are courteous enough to phone back and say they found another way home or have decided to stay where they are,” said Scott.

However, there are times when the team shows up and nobody is there.

“It can be frustrating.”

So far, excluding Thursday night, ORN has provided 405 rides, compared to 459 over the same period last year.

Last year, the local program provided 842 rides, totalling 24,000 kilometres.

The free service began on Nov. 25 and runs on the weekends. This year’s service has only two nights remaining – tonight (Dec. 17) and Dec. 31.

ORN is the annual fundraiser for PacificSport and donations are used to develop and deliver sport programs and services throughout the Fraser Valley.

If you need a safe ride home, call 604-864-4814.

You can also call toll free at 1-877-604-NOSE.

For more information about ORN, visit www.operationrednose.com or call 604-746-0601.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Abbotsford Hospice Society holds community scavenger hunt

Road to Gratitude event takes place on Sunday, July 19 by the carload

New book celebrates people and events that shaped Abbotsford

Pre-sales launched for Abbotsford – A Diverse Tapestry, to be released in fall

Child falls down Bridal Veil Falls near Chilliwack, crews on scene

An 11-year-old boy fell over the falls about 25 to 30 feet and has suffered a head injury

Once-in-a-lifetime comet photographed soaring over Abbotsford

Photographer Randy Small captures Comet NEOWISE in early-morning sky

QUIZ: Are you ready for a summer road trip?

How much do you really know about roads, motor vehicles and car culture? Take this quiz to find out.

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

Woman sexually assaulted, robbed near Surrey SkyTrain station: RCMP

Police say the incident happened July 10, just after 11 p.m. near King George SkyTrain station

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Four-vehicle collision snarls eastbound highway traffic in Fraser Valley

Collision west of Lickman Road on Highway 1 includes three vehicles plus motorcycle

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Most Read