Free Wheelin’ volunteer Janet Ellison.

Janet Ellison, Warren, has been volunteering as a driver for Free Wheelin’, the organization that provides seniors with rides in the Mad River Valley, since before the pandemic. “I volunteer because the service is needed in the Mad River Valley and I enjoy meeting and chatting with new people,” she said. She began driving cancer patients to appointments soon after she moved to The Valley in 2000 and said, “The move to Freewheelin’ was natural.



“There are very few services offered here that can transport those in need. It gives seniors a chance to stay in their own homes longer. The most rewarding part is knowing that someone in need was helped by you.”

Free Wheelin’ was a free service created by Johnnye Eure and Michael Bransfield nearly four years ago to help locals get where they need to go, be it a doctor’s appointment, the grocery store or other errands.

“As a volunteer, I am able to choose my dates to drive,” Ellison said. “I have a busy schedule and knowing that I am not obligated each day or week is important. If I have a free time, I check the listing to see if someone needs a ride. I can take [it] or not. I want to enjoy and do good at the same time in my retirement days.”

Ellison noted that volunteers are always needed. Those interested may learn more and contact Free Wheelin’ at

“Freewheeling is a good, well-organized organization,” Ellison said. “We in the MRV are lucky to have such an organization.”