Getting smiles out of driving miles

You could say that Larry Womacks is a guy who doesn’t mind going the extra mile.
The retired plumber and Atco Sawmill planer man now volunteers much of his free time to drive people to and from their medical appointments. But when one of his regular clients needed a new set of faucets installed and was unable to do it himself, Larry happily gathered his tools and did the job for him.

Larry Womacks goes about his day

Larry Womacks goes about his day

You could say that Larry Womacks is a guy who doesn’t mind going the extra mile.

The retired plumber and Atco Sawmill planer man now volunteers much of his free time to drive people to and from their medical appointments. But when one of his regular clients needed a new set of faucets installed and was unable to do it himself, Larry happily gathered his tools and did the job for him.

“There’s something special about doing something for somebody else,” he says. “It just makes you feel good inside and I just love that feeling.”

“ I guess I’m a little selfish that way” he laughs.

The ‘Rides’ service that Larry drives for is operated by the All The Way Home Chaplaincy Society to provide rides for those with no other transportation available to and from medical appointments.

“”We have partnered with the Alliance Church to use their wheelchair equipped van,” says All The Way Home director Ken Siemens. “And they have been absolutely fantastic in helping with our expenses.”

Besides regular rides every week for some clients, the service also provides free transport to ‘one-off’ doctor and dental appointments. And while most of the trips are local, he’s has also made quite a few trips to Nelson with people to see their doctors.

“We’ve even transported people to their spouses funerals.” says Siemens.

“It’s a great program that Ken has set up and figured out and it wouldn’t exist without him,” says Womacks. “I wouldn’t be doing this if it weren’t for his hard work.”

“Many of the people who use the service make a donation and Interior Health has provided us with a few hundred dollars.” say Siemens.

But funding remains a major challenge.

“As long as people continue to donate and provided nothing goes wrong with the van we can keep operating, but for how long really depends…”

What it will depend upon is the generosity and support of concerned  individuals, churches, and community minded organizations as well as the ongoing commitment of volunteers like Larry Womacks, who does what he does for all the right reasons.

“Sometimes people are struggling and just don’t know what to do and you can see it in  their face he says. And to help them be able to let that go and be free of that worry is just a great, great feeling.”

“I don’t know how to explain it but I just love that look on peoples faces when I can help them.”

No further explanation required Larry.

For more information on the Rides program call 250-231-1149.

If there’s an unheralded person in our community that deserves recognition for their efforts contact Mike Hockley at hockley.mike@gmail.com