Welcome to the first issue of Easy Lift's eNewsletter! 
 
We hope you'll enjoy learning more about us and the vital work we do providing specialized transportation for South Santa Barbara County. 
 
Please share with your friends, like our Facebook page and send us your feedback. 
 
Thank you for supporting Easy Lift. 

Sincerely,
Ernesto Paredes, Executive Director

 
 Support Easy Lift by joining the Freedom Circle 

Last year, Easy Lift provided over 74,000 rides to nearly 2,000 people. Passengers use Easy Lift for work, school, medical appointments, grocery shopping, and a wide variety of entertainment and quality of life activities. 


We invite you to support Easy Lift by joining our Freedom Circle. Your annual donation of any amount qualifies you for membership and helps Easy Lift make sure that no one who needs a ride is turned away. 

  

Donations of $20 or more before October 15 enters your name into a drawing for an iPad mini.
 

Easy Lift deserves your support so frail seniors and people with disabilities have the freedom to live full, productive lives. Click here to join!

 

Photo:  Community leaders and other supporters gathered for the launch of Easy Lift Transportation's Freedom Circle campaign. 

 

Front row (from left): Larry Crandell, Phil Womble - passenger, Mac Johnson Easy Lift Board President and owner, Home Instead Senior Care of Santa Barbara CountyRoger Aceves - Goleta MayorHelene Schneider - Santa Barbara MayorValerie Doty - passenger, and Gus Albertsen passenger

 

Second Row: Fran Forman - Community Action Commission, Kim Olson - Alpha Resource Center, Teri Allison - Storyteller Children's Center, Cecilia Rodriguez - CALM, Marybeth Carty - Venoco, Marion Schoneberger - Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care, Janet Garufis - Montecito Bank & Trust, supporter Margo Barbakow, Cam Sanchez - Santa Barbara Police ChiefSalud CarbajalSanta Barbara County First District Supervisor and Lois Mitchell - Orfalea Foundation 

 

Third Row: Chris McNamara - Sansum Clinic, Jan Campbell - Santa Barbara Foundation, Sarah Clark - Cox Communications, Gregg Hart - Santa Barbara County Association of Governments, Sherrie Fisher - Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District and Bill BrownSanta Barbara County Sheriff

 

Back row: Paul Didier - United Way of Santa Barbara County, Bill Macfadyen - 




Woman of Independence
Rita Shaw - Easy Lift Passenger

Rita Shaw is a fiercely independent and intelligent woman. Born and raised in England, Rita was drafted by the military during World War II where she served under the Director of Ship Repairs as part of the typing pool, which she says was "torture." She was able to travel with the Director to Iran, Algiers and Naples. She also lived in London and survived the Blitz.
 
After the war, Rita married an American soldier and moved to the United States, settling in Nebraska. Later as a single mother with four children, she began her career as a television producer for a one hour show on the local CBS affiliate in Lincoln, Nebraska. Upon moving to St. Paul, she then produced a show for PBS where she met the likes of Charles Kuralt and Sir Edmund Hillary.
 
Rita was also an entrepreneur. She started Great Days Publishing in Carpinteria, after moving to Santa Barbara, which published greeting cards and scrolls that summarized historical events from one's date of birth.   

So, after a lifetime of self-reliance, it was very difficult for Rita to admit when she couldn't drive anymore. "I was devastated," she said. She was afraid she would be stuck at home, unable to visit friends, shop, or take her daily swim. But then someone told Rita about Easy Lift and she was greatly relieved. Now, Rita uses our service almost daily and has become a staunch supporter and a great fan of the drivers.  
 
Thanks in part to the freedom Easy Lift provides, Rita continues to live life to the fullest.   
 
Please consider supporting Easy Lift so we can continue providing high quality specialized transportation to passengers like Rita. Click here to join our Freedom Circle.




CAT Program Does Summer Right
 
Kayaking, swimming, bowling, camping, and horseback riding...all typical summertime activities for kids. Well, most kids that is. 
 
The CAT program, which stands for Children's Accessible Transportation, provides transportation for youth-serving nonprofits in Santa Barbara so they can avoid the expense and hassle of getting in the transportation business. As a result, the children served by CAT have a unique opportunity to participate in activities that would normally be out of the question.
 
For example, the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Barbara went kayaking in the Santa Barbara Harbor (pictured above); Franklin Recreation Center youth went bowling at Zodos; Parks and Recreation youth went swimming at Los Banos; and children from Child Abuse Listening & Mediation (CALM) went horseback riding at Hearts Therapeutic Equestrian Center...just to name a few. 
 
Thanks to grants from local foundations and contributions from people in the community, Easy Lift's CAT program provided 3,974 rides and logged a whopping 6,006 miles during June, July and August.
 
If you'd like to help support great services like the CAT program, please join Easy Lift's Freedom Circle. 

A Dream Fulfilled

It was a Father's Day dream come true for
Phil Kligman. 
 
You see, Phil has a terminal illness and is confined to a wheelchair. Transportation from Santa Barbara to San Luis Obispo was impossible to find but desperately needed so Phil could see his son, Samuel, graduate with an MBA from Cal Poly. Samuel felt terrible that his dad couldn't attend the ceremony, so much so that he had decided not to participate.
 
Fortunately for both father and son, the Dream Foundation fulfilled their dream request by partnering with Easy Lift to provide transportation. What an honor it was for us to help Phil and Samuel celebrate this momentous achievement...together.
 

Easy Lift Drivers Rock!
  
We have the best drivers on the planet. Seriously. They help our passengers with smile and grace. It's especially gratifying to get feedback from the public, like this email from Lucille...
 
"Was walking down our street this morning and saw an Easy Lift driver helping a sweet little elderly woman with a walker. She needed assistance getting from the curb to the street level and he was very gentle and kind to her, and I heard him making nice small talk with her. Made me happy to see him treating her so well. Way to go, Santa Fe Lane driver!" 
 
As you can imagine, during the course of normal daily operations, Easy Lift's drivers are dispersed and don't have an opportunity to meet and mingle with their co-workers. Our monthly driver meeting provides a time for them to come together, socialize, get some training...and have dinner! August's meeting included fresh cooked tacos, as sampled by Andy Iniquez at right.
 
Trainings include everything from driver safety to presentations by local nonprofits on issues that help them perform well in their jobs. 
 
For example, a very difficult part of being an Easy Lift driver is the frequency with which passengers pass away. This is hard on our drivers because they become quite close to their passengers. To help drivers cope, Hospice of Santa Barbara provided a training called "Dealing with Death and Grief."  
 
Additional trainings have included:
 
-Assistance to passengers with brain injuries (Jodi House) 
-Recognizing and reporting elder abuse (SB County Adult Protective Services) 
-Vehicle maintenance service and inspection (Vehicle Maintenance Technician) 
-Defensive driving techniques for safe transportation (Easy Lift Driver Trainer) 
-Mobility device securement (National Training Institute) 
-Assistance to passengers with Alzheimer's and dementia (Friendship Center) 
-Hands Only CPR (SB County Emergency Medical Services Agency) 
-Sexual harassment in the workplace (Rape Crisis Center) 
-Assistance to visually impaired passengers (Braille Institute) 
-Workplace safety (American Red Cross) 
-Sharing the road with bicycles (Traffic Solutions)
 
So, if you see an Easy Lift driver out and about, please wave and give them a thumbs up for a job well done!

 
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