To the Editor:
The SafeRides Program of Martha’s Vineyard has been running strong for 11 years now. It is a program that provides a safe ride home to local high school kids on weekends, between the hours of 10 pm and 2 am. Contrary to popular belief, most of the SafeRides users are not intoxicated but just need a safe ride home.
Each working weekend night there are four to eight kids who man the base, some who drive and some who answer phones, and one adult supervisor to make sure nothing goes amiss at the base. This past year it has been difficult to find adult volunteers. Many of our adults leave the program after their children graduate MVRHS. SafeRides is a great program that is used and supported by the kids at the high school. If, in the last 11 years, we have saved just one life — then the thousands of hours spent by high school kids and island adults are worth every minute!
Safe Rides would like to thank the Farm Neck Foundation and Island Electronics for helping us to acquire new phones this year. We would also like to thank the Hebrew Center for graciously letting us use their building as the home base every weekend and the Mailroom for the use of a mailbox. Mike Wallace of Jim’s Package Store has provided certificates to reimburse our nightly drivers for the gas they use. The West Tisbury Congregational Church made SafeRides the cause of the month last January, and from that we received a very generous donation to the program. The Tisbury Ambulance’s Jeff Pratt has been indispensible in training our volunteers with insight and humor. The Boy Scouts of America have supported the program since its inception.
The SafeRides Program is funded entirely by donations. Reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail at SafeRides, PO Box 9000, Box 166, Edgartown, MA, 02539. We are a venturing arm of the Boy Scouts of America, and donations are fully tax deductible.
Kathy Retmier and Karen Bressler
Adult Advisors, SafeRides of M. V.