Senior Transportation Program
SMiles is a non-profit program designed to provide Claiborne County Seniors, 60 years and older, with much needed transportation. Rides to doctors’ appointments, shopping or social events can help seniors maintain their independence, enabling them to lead a healthier & more productive life, and therefore a happier one.
The Volunteers dedicating their time and talents to the SMiles program are the heart of SMiles. Whether they are drivers or staff we could not provide this much needed assistance without them.
Being a non-profit, SMiles depends on its funding through grants, sponsors and donors.
When a senior citizen loses their driver’s license, their life changes. A great deal of independence is gone. They are forced to rely on family and friends to provide transportation. Many seniors prefer not to burden others and end up lonely and without the ability to live a full and happy life. A simple trip to the store or doctor’s office can be a very stressful problem for them.
Claiborne County is mostly rural with no public transportation or even a taxi service. Therefore, these people are even more dependent upon those who will provide transportation to them. The ETHRA (East Tennessee Human Resources Agency) van runs regularly to help those most affected. Nevertheless, the efforts of this agency fall far short of giving the assistance needed to a very large part of this county’s population.
SMiles is a program designed to help the senior citizens of Claiborne County to regain their independence. It is a volunteer based service that utilizes advanced internet software to schedule, track, maintain and manage common destinations and repeat riders. Volunteers are provided internet access to all scheduled riders with the ability to choose a time that is convenient for them. Volunteer drivers can even schedule to have a senior’s ride coincide with one they were already planning for themselves. The ease and flexibility of the program make it a great fit for both senior citizen riders and volunteers alike. The riders will be charged a nominal mileage-based fee for each ride. This small amount will help to offset some of the program’s costs.
This system has proven to be successful in many parts of the country including other Tennessee counties.
There are people all over our county who, for one reason or another, no longer have transportation. There are also a great number of individuals who would like to help others, but don’t know what they can do or where to begin. Our job at SMiles is to bring these two together. With everyone’s help, we can provide an extremely valuable and much-needed service to our revered senior population.