Steve Roukema is the executive director with Chilliwack Restorative Justice. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

Steve Roukema is the executive director with Chilliwack Restorative Justice. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

Volunteers needed to make Operation Red Nose in Chilliwack successful this holiday season

Chilliwack Restorative Justice running safe-ride program; 2 open houses coming up for volunteers

Operation Red Nose is back in the hands of Chilliwack Restorative Justice, and they’re in need of volunteers and local businesses to make it successful.

“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 (ORN) 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.

Due to COVID, the program did not run in 2020 or 2021 in Chilliwack. Prior to 2020, the local Kiwanis Club organized ORN for about eight years and before that, Chilliwack Restorative Justice ran it.

Now restorative justice is running the annual fundraiser again.

“It’s a great way to receive funds for the restorative work that we want to do in the community through donations,” Roukema said.

The funding will go to the restorative response program and their new school restorative program.

How it works is, when someone who needs a ride calls ORN, 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.

They need more than 100 volunteers to make it happen.

Those interested can drop in at one of two upcoming ORN volunteer open houses at the Griffin Security office (9300 Nowell St.) from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 27 or Saturday, Sept. 3.

It takes about 20 minutes to receive orientation and fill out the paperwork.

Chilliwack Restorative Justice is also looking for car dealerships who will lend them their customer shuttle vehicles during those dates so volunteers don’t have to use their own. They are also looking for sponsors.

For more, go to restoringjustice.ca or email executivedirector@restoringjustice.ca.

RELATED: Suspected drunk driver crashes into Kamloops Operation Red Nose vehicles


 

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