Seniors can get free car service through grant

by Judy Stringer

Hudsonites 60 years of age and older are eligible for free transportation as part of a $5,500 grant from the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.

The grant, administered through Rejoice Lutheran Church in Hudson, pays for pick-up fees, mileage and wait fees, if needed, for any senior living within the boundaries of Hudson City School District. Rejoice received the grant in 2021 and has about half of the $5,500 remaining for use, according to local organizer Paige Giannetti, a member of the church.

Giannetti said Rejoice applied for the grant as part of its ministry and outreach related to youth and elderly. The transportation funding will be offered “until the dollars are depleted,” she said, or when the grant expires in November 2022.

According to Giannetti, about 40% of the grant trips to date have been used for medical appointments and another 40% have been used for grocery or drug store visits. Seniors can also get free trips to religious services, dining and events, exercise classes, social visits and for errands, such as picking up and dropping off a car at a repair facility.

There are no income restrictions. Each senior is eligible for five free round trips within a mile of the Hudson borders, including one trip of up to 70 miles each way for appointments like those at the Cleveland Clinic Main Campus or Akron General. There are unlimited trips to the Hudson Food Pantry, housed at Rejoice. The service is available every day between the hours of 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.

The grant does not cover costs for trips to the airport.

Hudson resident Lynn Remly said she has used the service “several times for social outings in the evening.”

“I think it offers a great benefit to those of us who can’t or don’t want to drive at night, especially any distance from home. The drivers are on time, very patient and very helpful. The vehicles are clean and comfortable, easy to enter and exit,” Remly said. “I hope the program continues.”

To schedule a ride, call Sedan or Van Transportation at 330-653-5980. Twenty-four-hour notice strongly suggested. ∞