Stettler handibus needs community’s help

Handibus looking for donations and volunteers

Stettler’s handibus provides transportation for seniors and handicapped persons and now the Handibus Society needs help from the community.

The Stettler and District Handibus Society has to replace its bigger bus and hopes the community is able to step up with donations.

“We’re at the preliminary stage of pricing out a new bus,” said Cindy MacDonell, chairman of the Handibus Society.

The society relies on donations from both the Town of Stettler and Stettler County to help with its annual operating costs. They don’t, however, receive money from the provincial or federal government.

Many local service groups help with funding. Superfluity Shop donated $19,500 for the handibus in 2017, said Judy McKnight, program coordinator for Stettler and District Handibus Society.

On average, Superfluity donates $15,000 to $20,000 every year for the handibus.

The handibus also relies on passenger fairs to cover the service but only charge $10 a round trip even though the actual cost is about $20 a round trip. The society absorbs the loss.

“Every year we hit a deficit and we can’t keep doing that,” said MacDonell.

“We don’t want to raise the passenger fairs,” said MacDonell, adding that the seniors and disabled are on fixed incomes and can’t afford higher costs.

The handibus society also needs help to fund the operation of its medical van for out of town trips.

“Our cost per trip is almost prohibitive,” said MacDonell.

They charge $150 for medical round trip rides to Red Deer and $250 to $300 to Edmonton and Calgary.

The handibus society is looking for volunteers to sit on their board.

“We’re in dire need of board members,” said MacDonell. “We meet once a month, it’s not a huge commitment.”

Anyone wanting to volunteer with, or donate to, the handibus society please call 403-742-5858 or email handibus@stettlerfcss.ca

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