The pandemic has grounded Rudy and all volunteers who make time to drive vehicles and answer phones in a bid to get people home safely during the holiday season.
Operation Red Nose will not operate its safe-ride service in B.C. this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The safety of our volunteers, clients and local host organizations has always been one of our top priorities,” said Jean- Philippe Giroux, executive director for Operation Red Nose.
“The decision was made after long and careful consideration and not without emotion. We remain convinced that positive initiatives will be possible this holiday season. In the meantime, we want to remind everyone to always plan ahead for a safe way to get home.”
Operation Red Nose plans to continue promoting responsible consumption via its awareness campaign, details of which will be revealed in November.
The service, which has operated in Kamloops and other communities across Canada for a number of years, sees volunteers at phone banks and volunteers in pilot vehicles dispatched to provide a safe ride home for people out on the town. The person imbibing and their vehicle is driven home — with the pilot vehicle following.
The service, which normally runs on weekends from late November through New Year’s Eve, raises money for local non-profits via donations from those calling Operation Red Nose. In Kamloops, PacificSport Interior BC has been the recipient, with money raised going to help amateur athletes.
Last year, Operation Red Nose gave 1,218 rides over 15 nights in Kamloops, raising close to $33,000 for PacificSport Interior BC.