Through two weekends, Operation Red Nose has raised almost $10,000 in cash donations, while closing in on 400 rides entering service on Thursday night.
Operation Red Nose is an annual service that sees a team of volunteers, made up of two drivers and a navigator, work together to not only get an individual safely home, but ensure their vehicle will be there with them the next day when they need it.
Patrons of the service are asked to provide a donation, with money collected going to PacificSport BC, which helps amateur athletes.
While the busiest part of the season is still to come, Katie Klassen, co-coordinator of Operation Red Nose in Kamloops, said the statistics are on par with last year.
Through the first two weekends, volunteers have handled 397 rides and collected $9,500 in donations.
“We’re going into one of our busiest weekends and we have lots of teams on. I think we have about 20 teams for Friday and, right now, we’re sitting at 19 teams for Saturday.”
She added that the teams’ escort vehicles have clocked about 8,000 kilometres so far.
In 2018, Operation Red Nose in Kamloops provided 1,313 rides and raised more than $33,000, with volunteers driving more than 25,235 kilometres.
Last year, Kamloops was first in B.C. and 10th nationwide in rides completed and money raised.
Though the service now has about 200 volunteers, its goal is to reach 250.
With their busiest weeks still ahead, Klassen is urging those interested in helping to join the cause.
“We’re really pushing for people to come out and help us on New Year’s Eve,” she said.
Operation Red Nose operates between 8 p.m. and 2 a.m. on Thursdays and from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays — and on New Year’s Eve — in December. Call 250-372-5110 for a ride.
For more information on volunteering with Operation Red Nose, call 250-320-0650. To download the necessary forms, go online to operationrednose.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Forms can also be picked up at the Tournament Capital Centre at TRU, at Volunteer Kamloops, 705 Seymour St. downtown and at Desert Gardens Community Centre, at Seymour Street and Fifth Avenue downtown.