“IT IS ABOUT MORE THAN JUST GETTING TO A DESTINATION”

SPECIAL FOR THE AJT

Imagine how difficult it is to have places to go — like work, doctors appointments or even just the grocery store — but you physically are unable to get there. Everyone needs reliable transportation; it is a critical part of living independently. Thanks in part to the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta (JFGA) and the longtime support of Barbara and Ed Mendel, Alterman/JETS has been able to provide moderately priced transportation to older adults and adults with developmental disabilities for almost 20 years.

Alterman/JETS is run by a very professional and caring staff, including longtime drivers Ed and Mike. Together, they represent a combined total of 28 years with the agency. In addition, we call on volunteer drivers to help by providing some rides in their own vehicles.

“The program offers so much flexibility to so many,” said Ellen Gebel, who has been a volunteer driver for nearly three years. “It is so easy to give back, and the people I drive are such a pleasure!” Bonnie Steinfeld, who has been a volunteer for seven years, agreed. “I always meet the most interesting people. It is such a pleasure.”

For volunteer driver Susan Segal, Alterman/JETS hits very close to home. Her sister, an adult with developmental disabilities, is a participant of Jewish Family & Career Services of Louisville. Susan’s sister receives transportation through the program, and being a volunteer driver here in Atlanta is how Susan reciprocates.“You don’t realize how difficult life can be until the ability to drive is taken away. This type of service allows someone who cannot drive to live his or her life to the fullest, so I am delighted to participate. It helps me feel a sense of community.”

“I’m so glad we are able to offer this service,” said Betsy Brody, Alterman/JETS Tansportation Coordinator. “Transportation is such a key need for those unable to drive. It is about more than just getting to a destination. It’s about freedom and control of one’s life and can have quite an impact on one’s mental well-being.”

The commitment from these staff members and volunteers makes Alterman/JETS a reality and betters the lives of so many every day.

Editor’s note: Alterman/JETS also provides wheelchair-accessible transportation to clients who are 60 years or older or who have a disability. They must live within our service area. For more information about becoming a client or to become a volunteer driver, call 770.677.9339.