NORWALK, Conn. -- SafeRides is an organization run all over the country that allows high school students to call the SafeRides hotline number and be able to get a confidential and safe ride home. The organization was started here in Norwalk several years back by Melissa Rojo, a senior at Princeton University, and continues to provide students with this service.
SafeRides is able to operate with the help of many dedicated high school student volunteers from both Norwalk High School and Brien McMahon High School who run the program while keeping kids’ safety in mind. The SafeRides crew includes three co-presidents from Norwalk High, four from Brien McMahon and a team of devoted and committed student and adult volunteers.
They operate most Saturday nights from 10 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. out of the South Norwalk Community Center. Students can receive a ride by calling the SafeRides hotline number: (203) 939-9199. However, all students utilizingSafeRides’ services must be pre-registered and can do so by clicking the registration link located on the Norwalk SafeRides public group on Facebook or on their Twitter account.
President Esha Sharma said, “SafeRides focuses on keeping kids safe in a variety of circumstances when either their parents or another responsible party is not available to drive them home. There could be many reasons for calling SafeRides, we offer this service to any students who are not in a condition to drive themselves or who feel uncomfortable as passengers.”
While their main purpose is to reduce drunk driving accidents and save lives, students can call SafeRides for other instances in which they feel uncomfortable or unsafe, such as walking home late at night or trying to avoid a troubling situation.
In addition to needing students to volunteer, SafeRides requires at least one parent volunteer to supervise the student volunteers every Saturday night. “This allows both the students and parents to become involved in the lives of the high school students and to be able to help keep our community safe through volunteer work”, said Co-President Erin Vallerie.
If you are an adult or high school student interested in volunteering for SafeRides, or have any questions, please contact Norwalksaferides@gmail.com.
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