Greetings friends! Liberty is about connecting communities, and today we wanted to reach out and share with you about a few of our treasured drivers and passengers, as well as the impact that we’re having locally in the communities we have launched in Ohio, Nebraska, and South Dakota. We are so blessed by some of the most amazing partners, mentors, and advocates as we have deployed in each of these communities.
Van Wert, Ohio
Robert recently joined the Liberty team in Van Wert, Ohio. He is a stroke and two-time cancer survivor. Becoming a Liberty driver has given him hope – he feels like he is doing meaningful work again and it gives him a sense of freedom. Robert reports one of his favorite things about being a Liberty Driver is meeting interesting people. So far, he has met someone from Uganda and some folks from Great Britain. Who knew that the little town of Van Wert had people from all over the world coming into town!
Robert is the true example of neighbors helping neighbors. “I know several of my riders since I grew up here in Van Wert. It’s a great feeling reconnecting with people and helping out friends in need,” Robert said. He picked up a gentleman for a dialysis appointment and found a long-time friend of his whole family. “Being a Liberty driver brings me a lot of joy, especially during this time of my life,” he said.
Daniel Keener was the first Liberty driver trained in western Nebraska. He wanted to make a difference in the community by being a part of the solution for mobility issues. Daniel expected to give ordinary rides to ordinary people – but what he didn’t expect was an ordinary ride for an extraordinary person – a celebrity! During the Oregon Trail Days festival, he received a ride request for a trip from a local hotel to Wal-Mart. When he arrived, he soon realized his passenger was Greg Hind from The Little River Band! The group was in town to play at the amphitheater for Oregon Trail Days. As the two started to chat, Daniel and Greg discovered they had both lived in the same city in Australia! Mr. Keener himself is no “ordinary” driver – he is certified to transport Wards of the State, and is fluent in Spanish and French!
What makes for a 5-star rating? Ask Athens-area resident Chris Pierce, who enjoyed
his experience as a Liberty passenger so much that he left a glowing review on the company Facebook page. “The smartphone app was a help and comfort by showing a photo of who our driver was, what kind of vehicle he was driving, his plate number and a contact phone number in case we needed to reach out. Our driver was at our home quickly, called once he arrived and met us at our door with an umbrella. This was a level of service I wasn’t expecting.”
Chris’s driver, Bruno, provided exceptional customer service on that rainy night. He monitored his phone for the return trip request and was right there when Chris needed a ride back home. “The cost was extremely reasonable,” Chris said. “We were very pleased with our experience and will be using this service again!
Ron Campbell is the first official driver in Kearney, Nebraska. He heard about Liberty on the local news and picked up the phone right away. Ron joined Liberty because he remembers all too well the difficulty he had when his late wife was suffering from cancer. “My wife was disabled for 12 years, then she developed cancer,” Ron said. “As a truck driver, I had a hard time keeping my job and trying to get her into radiation appointments. We needed somebody to provide transportation, but there was nothing here in this area that provided that service.” In addition to being eager to give back, he is relieved to have a source of supplemental income that allows him to work despite a disability from having part of his foot removed.
Yankton, South Dakota
June 30th marked Liberty’s first day with cars on the road in Yankton, South Dakota. The timing proved to be perfect, as 4th of July festivities in the area run from the 30th through the holiday. Because of Yankton’s location along the Missouri River and proximity to the Lewis and Clark Lake and Recreational Area, there is a lot of traffic and tourism during holiday weekends throughout the summer. Liberty Area Manager Kate Schramm noted how safe and reliable transportation was a game-changer for area residents and tourists alike. “Our drivers stayed busy during the festivities, and we had countless passengers comment to us that this was the first time in a long time that they felt comfortable participating in a community event because they knew there was an affordable, safe, and reliable ride waiting for them at the end of the night!” From downtown, to the campsites at the lake, and many places in between, Liberty has made it easy for people to explore all that Yankton offers.
Diane is a lifelong resident of Beatrice, Nebraska, and has been active in the community her entire life. When Diane was 27, she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, and life with this crippling disease began. She has worked very hard to maintain her mobility, and is still able to walk short distances and enjoy activities in her community. Since Diane’s husband is busy local physician, she has had to rely on family and friends for her transportation needs since she gave up driving a couple of years ago. She wanted to try Liberty’s service in Gage County, so Diane called for a ride to an appointment. If her first impression is any indication, Liberty will be providing many rides for Diane in the future.
“The driver was very friendly and waited for me when my appointment went a little longer than scheduled,” Diane said. “My future trips will be with Liberty, and I’m ready to book my next trip this coming week!”
Liberty’s mission started about a year and half ago, and we can’t believe how far we’ve come. If you’d like to learn more about Liberty, check out the video below. Have a great day!