Volunteer driver pays it forward

posted Jun 1, 2017, 4:13 PM by Wayne Wieseler   [ updated Jun 1, 2017, 4:15 PM ]

Sara Schomp began volunteering for the Sebastopol Area Senior Center’s Volunteer Driver Transportation Program after attending a Sebastopol City Council meeting earlier this year when we went to the City for a little financial aid.

“I went to the council meeting and during that time I realized I wanted to help,” Schomp said. “I’m a good driver and I like driving, so it seemed like a good fit.”

Born in San Francisco, Schomp grew up in Denver, Colo. but returned to the Bay Area 25 years ago to be near family.

She retired from teaching high school art, English and social studies at Mission High School in San Francisco and is enjoying her retirement in her house on the outskirts of Sebastopol.

Schomp likes serving people who live in the less populated areas of the West County and sees her role as helping them stay connected to the outside world. She also uses the down time when she volunteers to catch up on her reading.

“I’m doing this because someday won’t be able to drive,” she said. “I feel like I’m paying it forward: Someday I may need a ride.”


Sara Schomp

Dean Brittingham, the Transportation Coordinator at the Senior Center, is grateful to have Schomp as a volunteer.

“We really appreciate everyone who’s stepped up to help us this year, and Sara is a prime example of what can be accomplished when the community works together for a common goal,” she said. “Her willingness to act as a connection for aging people in the more remote parts of the county is commendable.”

The SASC Volunteer Driver Transportation Program is a community-based, volunteer program that provides rides to medical and social service appointments to people age 60 and over from the West County.

It was developed in collaboration with the Russian River Senior Resource Center in response to the unmet transportation needs of West County Seniors. The program is presented in partnership with the Sonoma County Area Agency on Aging.

Its trained volunteer drivers are community members who donate time and gas so area seniors can meet their health care needs and be less isolated.

Call Dean Brittingham, Transportation Coordinator at 707-829-2440 if you have a need for a ride, wish to volunteer or to find out more about the program.