Fayston resident Peter Colgan recently reengaged as a volunteer for Free Wheelin’, the local, free ride service that helps get people to medical appointments and other important events.
Colgan said that when Free Wheelin’ manager Valerie McCord came to speak to the Mad River Valley Rotary Club late last year, (Colgan finished a year as president of the local Rotary last year in June), he felt his schedule was now such that he could volunteer again.
In total, he’s been driving about two years before and after his Rotary presidency.
Asked why he does it, he first pointed out that there really is a significant need for it.
“The people we drive are amazing. They’re humans who are having challenges of one sort or another, either temporary or chronic. I feel like I benefit from meeting them as much as they benefit from getting a ride,” Colgan said.
While he has used one of the two cars that Free Wheelin’ owns, he tends to use his own car.
“The way my schedule and bandwidth work, I prefer driving the trips that are in The Valley. It’s largely due to Lawson’s and other funding sources that Free Wheelin’ is able to reimburse volunteer drivers to gas/mileage, but I don’t ask for reimbursement because they’re short trips around town,” said Colgan.
In terms of advice for other potential volunteer drivers, Colgan suggested they talk to other drivers if they’re uncertain about what the experience will be. He also said volunteers should be clear with themselves about the boundaries and how much they want to commit.
“My current self-governance is that I’ll do one ride a week and that seems to work fine,” he said.
Colgan and his wife Susan live in Fayston. They relocated here full time five years ago from Bedford, Massachusetts.