United Way Program Offering Free Rides to Vaccination Appointments

United Way Ride United Transportation Program Now Offering Free Rides to Vaccination Appointments

Fort Atkinson, WI – May 12, 2021 – The United Way of Jefferson & North Walworth Counties is proud to announce their Ride United transportation program has temporarily expanded to cover free rides to vaccination appointments in the communities of Fort Atkinson, Jefferson, Lake Mills, Whitewater & Watertown.

“Our United Way is honored to be in a position to expand our Ride United program to provide assistance to those in our communities who have a transportation barrier which prohibits them from accessing vaccination appointments” states Megan Hartwick, United Way executive director. “These are very difficult communities to live in if you don’t have reliable access to quality transportation, so we are so pleased to be doing our small part to help bring that access to individuals in need, and also help increase the vaccination rates across our county.”

Ride United is serviced by Brown Cab Company (serving Fort Atkinson, Jefferson, Whitewater & Lake Mills) and Watertown Passenger Transit (serving Watertown). Individuals simply need to call the company for their community and schedule their ride. Ride availability is based on the schedule of each company and rides must be scheduled in advance. Rides are limited to within city limits and cannot accommodate travel between different cities.

“We truly wish we were able to offer the free ride service to every individual in every community and that we could accommodate travel across cities,” Hartwick adds. “However, we have to work within the logistical capabilities of the service providers and within our financial resources available. Although we know this expanded service won’t reach every person in need, we are still excited to offer it to many who will benefit from it.”

The service will be provided for riders to the following vaccination appointment locations: Fort Atkinson (Fort Healthcare Hospital, Fort Healthcare Internal Medicine & Pediatrics, Fort Atkinson Hometown Pharmacy and Walgreens), Jefferson (The Drug Store and Walmart), Lake Mills (WRMC Lake Mills Clinic, Lake Mills Hometown Pharmacy and Walgreens), Whitewater (UW-Whitewater Health Services, McCullough’s LTC Pharmacy, Walmart and Walgreens), and Watertown (Watertown Department of Public Health, Watertown Hometown Pharmacy, WRMC Doctor’s Court Clinic, Walmart and Walgreens).

“We are so grateful to each and every person, organization and company that supported our 2020 campaign efforts, which allowed us to expand our Ride United service to assist with this immediate need in our communities,” Hartwick states. “Without the generosity of our donors, none of this would be possible. Each and every dollar we receive in support of our Ride United program has such a positive impact on those who utilize the service to access food pantries, free medical clinics, and now for those who will be able to access vaccination appointments.”

United Way encourages any residents who could benefit from this service, to call Brown Cab (920.563.6303) to schedule their ride. If anyone is interested in supporting this service, donations can be made online using the following link and noting “Ride United” in the comments section: https://uwjnwc.com/get-involved/give/. Donations can also be mailed to 734 Madison Avenue, Fort Atkinson, WI 53538.

United Way will support this program expansion for as long as resources allow and for as long as there remains a community need.

“Our United Way will evaluate the vaccination rides on a monthly basis and will continue to offer the service as resources allow and as the community needs persist,” Hartwick adds. “We appreciate any and all continued support for this important United Way program.”

Any questions regarding the Ride United program can be directed to the United Way office at 920.563.8880 or unitedway@idcnet.com.

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