Operation Red Nose is underway in Chilliwack.
The annual campaign which offers a safe ride home for people throughout the holiday season kicked off in cities across B.C., including Chilliwack on Nov. 25. This year marks the 27th year for the program.
“The past few years have certainly been punctuated with important challenges and uncertainties, but we are very proud of our local host organizations for their tireless work,” said Jean Marie De Koninck, founding president of Operation Red Nose.
Locally, the volunteer-run program is being organized by Chilliwack Restorative Justice. About 100 volunteers are needed to run Chilliwack Operation Red Nose over the five weekends it’s offered.
“One of our biggest goals is to build a safer community through restorative practices and Operation Red Nose is on the same page when it comes to building a safer community,” said Steve Roukema, executive director with Chilliwack Restorative Justice. “They want to keep the streets safe from impaired drivers and we want to help in that process.”
Operation Red Nose is an international program which started in Quebec. It offers folks, who have had too much to drink, or are too tired, a safe ride home during the holiday season. The service is by donation and all funds raised go to support local youth or amateur sports initiatives.
How it works is, when someone who needs a ride and calls Operation Red Nose at 604-391-1112, a team of three is dispatched to them in a volunteer vehicle. One person will drive the customer’s vehicle to their home, and the other two volunteers (a driver and a navigator) are in the volunteer vehicle with the person they’re bringing home.
It’s a by-donation service and runs for five weekends at Christmastime: Nov. 25, 26, Dec. 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17 and 31 from 8:30 p.m. to 3 a.m.
Funds raised through Operation Red Nose in Chilliwack go to Chilliwack Restorative Justice for youth programs.
This year is the first time the service is being offered since 2019. It was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID. In Canada, a total of 75 communities will benefit from the safe ride service this year.
Those needing a safe ride home can call Chilliwack Operation Red Nose at 604-391-1112 on the dates and times listed above.