- emma heim
2021 Year in Review
Dial-A-Bus and the Dial-A-Bus family did our best in the catastrophic year of 2020, but in 2021 we were a whole year better at catastrophe, and it showed. We wanted to do more than just keep our regular services running while people in the community were struggling. Our whole team went the extra mile to make sure our clients were cared for.
We continued to get all of Benton County’s senior and disabled adults to their essential services.
We were proactive and disciplined among ourselves to ensure that we did not spread COVID to our vulnerable clients, all of whom have underlying health conditions. Two of our 60 employees have tested positive in two years.
We delivered groceries for our clients who could not leave their houses.
Dispatchers got up from their desk jobs and picked up elderly ladies themselves because they didn’t want “their ladies” to wait 10 extra minutes.
We trained our drivers to work with kids who have experienced trauma so that we could make their ride to school a little easier.
When the dialysis clinic in Corvallis shut down for two months, we dug deep and spent $8,000 to make sure that not one of our clients missed a single treatment at the surrounding clinics.
A new employee driving the late shift asked his trainer how late they work. He responded, “Same time every night, until all my people are home safe.”
Not only did the Dial-A-Bus staff step up to help this year, but so did the local community and our community of donors spread across the US.
Donors from as far away as 3,000 miles were touched in some way by our work and helped us do more of it. Big hearts from Poughkeepsie, NY; Los Angeles; Oakland; Cape Cod; North Carolina; Portland, OR; Mesa, AZ; Vermont; Columbus, OH; Boulder, CO; Sparta, NJ; and The House of Mackson all pitched in, as did 50 others we are leaving out.
During a funding shortfall in the summer, our Safety Manager, who has 35 years of experience and has won monetary safety awards for the agency three years in a row, secretly put himself on volunteer status and stopped taking a paycheck. When the Director figured it out three months later and told him he would be getting a check to make up for the last three months he looked at him without expression, paused…and said “Nope.”
During that same funding shortfall our volunteer drivers volunteered more. And then more after that.
Through our connections at the schools and with the other local care agencies, we identified the single moms working two jobs, the elderly folks who live alone, the brother and sister living with an uncle because they lost both parents to COVID, and so on, and so on; and made sure ALL of our donors’ generosity went directly to those people. No “overhead.” No “administrative costs.” Every last cent.
One of our dispatchers, in between working, raising two young children with a third on the way, wrote a successful grant that provided fully prepared Christmas meals for many of our elderly clients who cannot provide for themselves. Then she delivered them. She did all of this without ever telling the Director that it was happening. She just did it.
We even began providing brand new services through partnerships with other local organizations and nonprofits. Some of these partnerships were unfunded, but we knew they needed to be done and we knew that we could do it. So we did.
We expanded our service to school children by ensuring that the families had food, household supplies, and school supplies during closures.
We provided transportation to our unhoused community in micro shelters so that they could take showers, get medical care, and have warm food.
When COVID numbers spiked again, we started helping Good Samaritan Hospital when they were forced to discharge patients who have no family or other means of transportation. We responded to calls at all hours to make sure discharged patients got home. In a few cases, when they did not have a home to go to, our donors stepped up and made sure they did.
When the South Corvallis Food Bank called and asked for help, we were delivering food for their clients 24 hours later.
Last, but not least, we became even easier to support than ever before. We added four new ways to give and two of them don’t even cost you a cent!
We were accepted by a nonprofit agency to be eligible for matched donations twice a year during their fundraising events. Every year in November and July they hold an event where we could earn up to $5k in matched donations. Keep an eye out on our social media for those events in the future.
Speaking of social media, you can now donate directly on our Facebook page!
When you sign up with GoodSearch.com, choose “dial a bus” as your cause, and make GoodSearch your homepage, every single time you look something up online you will be earning money for Dial-A-Bus!
When you choose “Dial-A-Bus of Benton County” as your nonprofit on AmazonSmile, a portion of the cost of your purchase will be donated to us by Amazon. For a two-minute how-to video on signing up for GoodSearch and AmazonSmile, click here.
Thank you for helping us to make 2021 a great year despite the circumstances. We look forward to 2022 and seeing what we can do to continue helping this community.