New Bus Means Better Quality of Life for Veterans
After 3 years, the wait is over for the residents of Ridgewood Veterans Wing. They can now head out on adventures, all thanks to donor generosity funding the purchase of a brand-new, handy-equipped bus.
More than just a vehicle, the new bus directly impacts the quality of life of residents who otherwise wouldn’t ever get to leave the place they call home.
“Imagine the feeling, if you could not leave your own home for any reason,” says Nicole Robertson, Supervisor of Recreation Therapy at Ridgewood Veterans Wing. “The bus provides RVW Veterans with access to their community. A sense of belonging, freedom, and choice for them. It decreases social isolation, improves their emotional wellbeing, and optimizes their quality of life.”
The bus also serves basic needs, like trips to the doctor and other appointments.
“It helps facilitate appointments for the Veterans in the community like hearing tests, eye exams, the dentist – and to the Regional to see specialists or for diagnostic tests,” Nicole says.
Donor Generosity Makes Bus a Reality
From the Field of Flags campaign – launched in 2019 on June 6th, D-Day – to community organizations, the thoughtful generosity of many made the purchase of this vital transportation a reality.
The Community Foundation was one of those organizations that stepped up and supported the cause.
“This is more than transportation, it is an outreach for the residents of Ridgewood who have experienced a particularly challenging time over the past couple of years, in light of the pandemic and we are so pleased to see this come to fruition,” says Kelly Evans, President & CEO of the Community Foundation.
“This is very aligned with the mandate of the Community Foundation, which is belonging, inclusion, and enhancing the quality of life in greater Saint John.”
In addition to the Community Foundation, many other organizations answered the call, including the Royal Canadian Legions’ #58 and #69, the Knights of Columbus Father O’Leary Council #6595, the Commissionaires of N.B. and P.E.I. Division Inc., and Dalhousie Medicine New Brunswick.
Residents and Staff Thankful for Your Support
No one is more grateful for the bus than the residents themselves.
“I think it’s just wonderful that we get a chance to get out and enjoy the outside. I was always active, and so I’m looking forward to getting out,” says Bert McMillan, a resident of RVW.
Red MacLean is another resident who is looking forward to more outings now that the bus has finally arrived.
“Thank you very much to donors. It’s nice to get out, and it will be nice to get out more often,” says Red.
For William Richard Reid, being able to take a leisure trip on the bus is welcomed, given that leaving the home has been limited due to COVID.
“I’m most looking forward to getting out on account of being held up by the virus the last couple of years,” says William. “Thank you very much to the donors for making this possible.”
Nicole shares the same appreciation and excitement as the residents.
“The Veterans, their family members, and the staff of RVW can’t thank everyone enough for their contributions. Each and every individual who contributed money, no matter how small or large the donation, it’s the combined effort of everyone who made this purchase possible. We now have safe and reliable transportation for the Veterans.”
Learn more about the field of flags campaign and how you can support comfort and care for our veterans.
Read more of our Foundation Spotlights- Shining a light on the Saint John Regional Hospital's stories, its staff, volunteers and donors.