For Logan County senior citizens, getting from Point A to Point B is as easy as calling “TLC.” Transportation for Logan County is one of four new United Way Funded Agencies in 2016. The offshoot of RTC Industries will be receiving $23,000 in donor dollars to provide free rides for local elderly to get to doctors’ appointments or go shopping.
For residents like Herdien Ritch, the service is invaluable.
“If I stayed home all the time, it would drive me crazy,” said Ritch. “At home, you are all by yourself. I tell you, it has made an impact on my health and has prolonged my life.”
The Bellefontaine widow does not own a car and never learned to drive. Her son lives 90 minutes away. So she uses TLC four or five times a week so she can exercise at the YMCA, go shopping, or make medical appointments, including rides to Lima for the eye doctor.
“I only use TLC for important trips,” Ritch said. “If I’m going to a party or out to eat dinner, my friend picks me up.”
Last year, TLC’s fleet of 14 vans logged over half a million miles, providing 23,000 trips for Logan County residents. People of all ages can use TLC’s service to travel around the county. Many use it to get to work. They even take folks to surrounding communities up to a 100-mile radius.
“It’s like a big puzzle,” said Russ Foust, Supervisor at TLC, about coordinating the daily schedule. “You’ve got to make all the pieces fit together and it’s not that simple. We offer same-day service. You could call and get a ride today.”
Foust notes that 68 percent of their trips last year were to help elderly residents get to medical appointments. Thus the need for United Way support. TLC receives money from the Area Agency on Aging to transport seniors. But increased usage meant that TLC had to turn away 70 clients in the second half of last year because of a lack of funding. Your United Way support reinstates those seniors and will help extend free rides to additional residents.
Currently, TLC offers rides on weekdays between 7:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Driver Steve Hall acknowledges that they need extended hours into the evening and more routes on weekends.
“We don’t have a taxi service around here,” he said. “They don’t have another way of getting out.”
“I didn’t realize the need before I started working here a year and a half ago,” said Foust. “There are a lot of folks who need the service we’re providing. And when you meet someone like Herdien, that changes everything. They’re not numbers. They’re people.”
Residents over 60 qualify for free rides through United Way funding. But everyone in Logan County can use TLC, which offers same-day rides for as low as $3. For more information, call TLC at (937) 593-0039 or visit www.tlcrtc.org.
It’s the mission of United Way of Logan County to facilitate successful agency partnerships that enable a safe, healthy, and caring community. More than just a fundraiser, United Way collaborates with businesses, non-profits, government, and civic organizations to help meet the social service needs of the community.
For more information, visit www.uwlogan.org or call (937) 592-2886.
Submitted by United Way of Logan County.