Red Nose needs volunteers for holiday service

Red Nose needs volunteers for holiday designated driver service.

Rudy needs more little helpers for Operation Red Nose to ensure people get home safe this holiday season.

The program is a designated driver service to get people a ride home during the holiday season.

The service is free, but donations are accepted to raise money for Pacific Sport’s Active Star and XploreSportZ camps for children and youth, youth leadership programs in elementary schools and athlete services.

Red Nose kicked off the season this week and the organization is seeking volunteers to man the phones and get behind the wheel when the service starts on Nov. 25.

Grace Bell, Operation Red Nose coordinator, said volunteers are vital.

“We can’t do it without them,” she said. “If we didn’t have the volunteers, the service couldn’t run.”

Red Nose has operated in Nanaimo for 16 years and nationally for 28 years. Last year in Nanaimo, nearly 1,500 people received rides. There were nearly 200 volunteers who filled 344 volunteer shifts.

This year, the organization is looking to fill 420 shifts. Volunteer positions include drivers, navigators, escort drivers, dispatch phone operators or to be Rudy the mascot. Drivers must be 21 years or older and navigators and escort drivers must be over 19 years old.

This year’s dates for service include Nov, 25-26, Dec. 2-3, 9-10, 16-17, 22-23, 30 and New Year’s Eve.

Operation Red Nose offers services from Lantzville to Ladysmith from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. People can call the Red Nose hotline 250-740-6969 for a ride.

To volunteer, please e-mail or call the Red Nose hotline.