By Laura Keil, Publisher/Editor
While speaking with two members of a local non-profit that are working to start an accessible bus service in Valemount, I was touched by the empathy and gumption of this caring group of people.
The bus service will allow people who use wheelchairs and walkers to get around town, some of them for the first time in years.
“People don’t know what it’s like to have your independence taken away from you, until it happens to you,” said one member of the association.”You see a turn in people’s lives when something medical comes in, and then they just kind of disappear. We don’t always see it.”
The local association (actually a member of the association) purchased the bus for a great price, but it still needs to be paid for. They have a long road of grant writing and fundraising ahead of them. But the feedback from clients who have taken part in the drop-offs so far have spurred them on.
Last Friday, a woman was able to attend a concert at the high school and saw people she hadn’t seen in five years.
With a new seniors housing project in the works, this transport option is going to become more and more important. Most of us don’t give mobility a second thought, since we are able to jump in our vehicles or walk down the street. For those who can’t, it is like being on house arrest. Sometimes for years.
In order to make Valemount a senior- and disability-friendly community, we must think big.
Thanks to this intrepid group of people, Valemount has become that much more caring a place to live.