Operation Red Nose kicks off holiday season in Chilliwack

Operation Red Nose kicks off holiday season in Chilliwack

The volunteer organization gets you and your car home after too much holiday cheer

Long, long ago, during a particularly bad Christmas Eve snow storm, Santa Claus was struck with the ingenious idea of using his most peculiar, and now most famous, reindeer for navigation assistance.

“Rudolph, with your red nose so bright, won’t you guide my sleigh home tonight,” Santa Claus asked one fateful night, and the rest—as they say—is history.

Now a group of dedicated Chilliwack volunteers are following Santa and Rudolph’s lead by running Operation Red Nose (ORN), an annual fundraising campaign that drives home the message to not drive if you’ve been drinking.

RELATED: Operation Red Nose aims to keep you safe for the holidays

ORN “gets you and your car home (safely),” said Ken Smith, volunteer director for the non-profit organization in Chilliwack, which is hosted by the Kiwanis Club of Sardis.

“It’s not like taking a taxi home where you have to go back in the morning and pick up the pieces of your car” for the cost of a donation amount of your choosing.

“Last year we raised more than $10,000 in donations … and it was all put into youth programs in Chilliwack,” Smith explained.

“We support a broad spectrum of programs,” he continued. “We have Super Reader in the elementary schools, bursaries in the secondary schools, and various sports teams that we support. And (we also host) a Christmas party for disadvantaged kids.”

So in the case of ORN, more drivers means more dollars: last year the Chilliwack team gave a total of 581 rides over the course of the 11 holiday days. “But this year only has nine days,” said Smith. So the more volunteers they can get means the more rides they can give.

“Right now we have about 115 volunteers, which is about equal to last year, but down slightly from previous years: 150 … is our usual number. But people can keep applying throughout the season for one night or (all of the) nights.”

Kicking off its holiday season on Friday, Nov. 30, ORN operates Fridays and Saturdays from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. All you need to do is dial 604-393-3000, and a team of volunteers will be dispatched to your location to get you and your vehicle home safely.

“A team of three goes out in an escort vehicle and picks up the client,” explained Smith. Then a driver and navigator will chauffeur the client home in their own vehicle while the escort ride follows behind to deliver the team to their next destination.

“On a busy night, they’ll finish one ride and already have one waiting … so we would like to have more volunteers, especially for New Years Eve, which is always the craziest busiest night.”

To volunteer for Operation Red Nose and help raise money for youth programs city-wide, Smith says you can either download the application package off of their website at OperationRedNose.com, or pick one up in person at the RCMP Detachment at 45924 Airport Rd.

“First time volunteers need a police information check, but it’s included in the application package. It’s done very quickly and is no charge for the volunteer,” he added.


 

@SarahGawdin on Twitter
SarahGawdin on Instagram
Sarah.Gawdin@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chilliwack is expected to be among the province’s hottest real estate markets in 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick)
Chilliwack housing market projected to be among B.C.’s hottest in 2021

B.C. Real Estate Association projects Chilliwack and District to grow by 17.1 per cent

Eva Pucci Couture in this file shot from May 29, 2019, when she came to Chilliwack asking for the public’s help in locating her missing son, Kristofer Shawn Couture. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Missing man’s mom still hopeful, 2 years after his car was found abandoned at Chilliwack trail

‘I wish someone would come forward with insight into your whereabouts,’ pleads mom of missing man

Abbotsford tattoo artist Tanya Loewen has entered the Inked cover girl contest.
Abbotsford mother, tattoo artist enters Inked cover girl contest

Tanya Loewen, tattoo artist at Van Bree Tattoo, hoping to win big in magazine contest

District of Kent farmers brought truckloads of used plastic to the Schwichtenburg farm Oct. 26, 2018, for pickup by Kent Agricultural Plastics Recycling, a grassroots, farmer-initiated organization that collects and distributes used plastics for recycling. (Nina Grossman/The Observer)
Agassiz’s agricultural plastics program heading to the dump, unless province steps in

Kent Agricultural Plastics Recycling has nowhere to go, hopes B.C. will create a recycling program

Adam Suleman announced his intention to run in the Chilliwack school board byelection on Dec. 21, 2020. The byelection is set for Feb. 13, 2021. (Submitted)
VIDEO: Chilliwack byelection candidate focuses on mental health, bullying, COVID-19 safety

Adam Suleman: ‘If we address mental health we can address so many other issues at the same time’

Rose Sawka, 91, waves to her son through the window of a care home in Prince Rupert in October. Residents of the care home received their first vaccine dose Jan. 20. (K-J Millar/The Northern View)
B.C. care home visitor access to expand by March, Dix says

Staff, residents, essential visitors top priorities for vaccine

FILE – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivers his opening remarks at a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Tuesday, January 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine CEO ‘very, very clear’ that Canada’s contracts will be honoured: Trudeau

Trudeau says he spoke to Moderna CEO on the morning of Jan. 26

Ben Tyler was working on a Nicola area ranch when he disappeared. File photo
Ben Tyler was working on a Nicola area ranch when he disappeared. File photo
2 years after his riderless horse was found, police believe Merritt cowboy was killed

Two years after he went missing, Ben Tyner’s family makes video plea for information

A ground worker wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 unloads lobsters from a WestJet Airlines flight at Vancouver International Airport, in Richmond, B.C., on Thursday, January 21, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Trudeau teases stricter travel measures; Canadians flying to U.S. now need COVID test

Prime minister says measures need to not hurt imports and essential trade

The shirts sell for $45, with 30 per cent of proceeds from each sale going to Battered Women’s Support Services in Vancouver. (Madame Premier/Sarah Elder-Chamanara)
Canadian company launches ‘hysterical’ T-Shirt to combat health officials’ use of word

A partnership with Tamara Taggart will see women broadcast the word on a T-shirt or tote bag

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

ICBC has seen savings on crash and injury claims in the COVID-19 pandemic, with traffic on B.C. roads reduced. (Penticton Western News)
ICBC opens online calculator for rate savings starting in May

Bypassing courts expected to save 20% on average

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
16% boom predicted for B.C. real estate sales in 2021: experts

Along with sales, the average price of homes is also predicted to rise, by nearly 8 percent

The trial of Harry Richardson began Monday at the Nelson courthouse. File photo
Trial of man accused of shooting RCMP officer in West Kootenay in 2019 begins

Harry Richardson is facing five charges in a Nelson courtroom

Most Read