George Garrett of the Volunteer Cancer Drivers Society said the financial situation of the non-profit has improved, but with more demand has come an increased need for funding (Langley Advance Times File)

A brighter financial picture for non-profit Volunteer Cancer Drivers Society

Donations from Langley City and Langley-based First West improve matters

One grant at a time, the financial picture for the Volunteer Cancer Drivers Society (VCDS) is improving.

Both the City of Langley and a Langley-based financial institution made new contributions this month to the Metro Vancouver nonprofit that provides free rides for cancer patients to and from hospital.

After a few years of not making the list of City-supported community causes, the VCDS was awarded a $1,000 grant by council earlier this month.

“We are so delighted and so thankful,” Volunteer Cancer Drivers spokesperson George Garrett responded.

Around the same time, Langley-based First West Financial, which includes the Island Savings, Envision, Valley and Enderby credit unions, donated $20,000, the largest “single-year” donation the charity has ever received, Garrett estimated.

Langley and Abbotsford areas are the most expensive, with costs as high as $49 per trip, VCDS figures show.

Other contributions, including grants from the Township of Langley, Surrey, Delta, West Vancouver, North Vancouver, District of North Vancouver, Port Moody and various other charitable and community groups, have helped improve the financial position of the non-profit, which Garrett said currently has enough funding to convert costs for the next six months, plus a contingency fund in case the money runs out.

That doesn’t mean the society is out of the financial woods, however.

Garrett noted VCDS still has to focus on finding funds because demand has risen as more people become aware of the service.

READ MORE: Gas price hikes another obstacle for Lower Mainland’s Volunteer Cancer Drivers

In December of this year, VCDS drivers hit a milestone of one million kilometres driven.

Garett noted the drivers themselves the biggest donor group, because many donate donate their gas money back to the society.

Since the service was launched in February of 2016 to replace a previous service cancelled by the Canadian Cancer Society in 2015, VCDS has grown from a handful of volunteer drivers to about 175 volunteer drivers and 10 dispatchers.

VCDS operates in Langley, Abbotsford, Surrey, White Rock, Maple Ridge, Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam, Port Moody, the North Shore, Delta, and part of New Westminster.

Everyone, from the drivers to the board members, are volunteers and the society does not keep an office. Dispatchers work to co-ordinate transportation from their homes.

According to VCDS, 93 per cent of all funds goes directly to drivers to pay for gas and minor maintenance, while administrative expenses, which help the society spread the word of its services, make up the remaining seven per cent.

More information is available online at www.volunteercancerdrivers.ca.

.

_________________________________

Is there more to this story?

Email: dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter

_________________________________

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

Just Posted

VIDEO: ‘Hands, washing hands’: Surrey teachers sing ‘Sweet Caroline’ with COVID-19 lesson

Staff at Fleetwood Park Secondary are featured in video posted to Youtube on Friday

Surrey’s JoJo Mason brings mom along for Saturday song during Diesel Bird Digital Music Festival

Online event March 28-29 to rally behind Canadian musicians hit by COVID-19 show cancellations

Delta council passes bylaw to fine people who don’t socially distance, respect closures

Not social distancing or obeying provincial orders in Delta could set you back hundreds of dollars

From lockdown in Italy to self-isolation in South Surrey

Like many returning citizens, Peninsula-raised James Bogart & Emily Schenk have a long journey ahead

Trudeau announces 75% wage subsidy for small businesses amid COVID-19

This is up from the previously announced 10 per cent wage subsidy

World update, 9:30 p.m. March 27: Positive news in Korea as U.S. hits 100,000 cases

The United States now has the most coronavirus cases of any country in the world

VIDEO: Penguins roam empty halls of Vancouver Aquarium

COVID-19 has forced the Vancouver Aquarium to close access to guests – leaving room for its residents

Significant snowfall forecast for Interior mountain passes

Allison Pass, the Okanagan Connector, Rogers Pass and Kootenay Pass could see 15 to 25 cm of snow

Kids get back to learning in B.C., online

Ministry of Education rolls out new tool for school

67 more B.C. COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Vancouver region

Positive tests found in Surrey, Langley long-term care facilities

‘Now is not the time to bag that peak’: BCSAR manager discourages risky outdoor adventures

Call volumes are not going down, even as the COVID-19 pandemic persists

Food Banks BC already seeing surge in demand due to COVID-19 pandemic

Executive director Laura Lansink said they expect applications will keep increasing

Nanaimo couple caught aboard cruise ship with four dead and COVID-19 present

Four ‘older guests’ have died on Holland America’s Zaandam; cruise line confirms two COVID-19 cases

Most Read