Events Good to Know

Helping Caledon get Home Safe

Steering wheel
Submitted to Just Sayin' Caledon

Fun…rewarding…heart-warming…some of my best volunteer moments ever have come over the numerous Christmas seasons when my husband and I volunteered with HomeJames-Caledon. My next post following this one will be an annual request for HomeJames volunteers. It’s easier than it sounds, and among the most gratifying uses of your volunteer time, getting folks young and old home safe! Oh, and did I mention, you meet some of the nicest people!

So I hope you’ll consider this appeal. But first here’s some background information from our friend and HomeJames Chair Tayler Parnaby to get you acquainted with this awesome organization…

HomeJames-Caledon finds its roots 9 years ago as a chapter of Quebec based Operation Red Nose before being transformed into the Caledon chapter of the Community Designated Drivers Association, a registered, Ontario non profit organization created by Stan Janes and like minded individuals in Chatham, Ontario.

Its founding sponsors included Bolton Rotary, Palgrave Rotary, Bolton Lions, Bolton Kinsmen, the Town of Caledon, the Ontario Provincial Police and every new car dealership in Caledon.

Our holiday-season assignment, on weekends from Mid November to New Years Eve, is to ensure safe passage home to any driver and his/her passengers who may feel their security at risk as the result of driver impairment, however caused.

It’s a complex and challenging undertaking.

Over its years, HomeJames has evolved into an organization which now requires over 130 volunteers deployed as call takers, dispatchers, drivers and communicators now backed by a new, sophisticated, computerized SmartPhone communication system utilizing contemporary emergency services dispatching techniques. It’s expected that by 4:00 in the morning of January 1st, 2017, HomeJames will have delivered as many as 1,500 drivers and his/her passengers safely to their homes during its 2016 season

The challenge has always been to attract a sufficient number of volunteers and sponsors to meet the demands for HomeJames services. For a 2nd year, with the help of Tom Horton’s, HomeJames will stage vehicles in various locations within Caledon and it immediate neighbourhoods to reduce average service times to less than 40 minutes a call. Cars will be staged in Bolton, Caledon East, Palgrave, Caledon Village and West Caledon, each occupied by two drivers and a navigator.

The first driver operates the client car to deliver its driver and his/her passengers safely home in the client’s vehicle. The navigator will utilize the new HomeJames SmartPhone dispatch system to ensure efficient trip co-ordination while the second driver follows in a shuttle vehicle provided by each of Caledon’s new car dealerships or Enterprise car rentals.

In its first 8 years, more than 6,500 people have shared this community service. And, on nights during which HomeJames has operated, the OPP report no serious traffic collisions involving serious injury or death caused by impaired driving in the Caledon area.

It’s an enviable record!


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Just Sayin' Caledon

Just Sayin’ Caledon brings you stories about Caledon people, places and events.

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