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MyRide receives $10K from United Way

Officials from MyRide Tennessee Johnson County pose with a giant check after being awarded $10,000 from the United Way of East Tennessee Highlands. Submitted photo.

By Meg Dickens
Staff Writer

MyRide received some encouraging news this past week. The group’s presentation to the United Way of East Tennessee Highlands sparked interest leading to a $10,000 Problem Solving grant for the upcoming year. Although this is a great help for the program, Johnson County Senior Center Director Kathy Motsinger warns that it will be a one-time donation only.

“The $10,000 isn’t a guarantee every year,” explained Motsinger. “I can’t even apply for the particular grant again because it’s for a new program less than three years old.”
MyRide was one of three causes that the United Way decided to award $10,000 for “innovative solutions to area needs.” The decision was made by Student Government Association students from East Tennessee State University (ETSU) after watching the organization’s 10-minute presentations.

In all of its presentations, MyRide had a crowd of supporters. Motsinger reports that around 40 people rallied behind the program during the United Way presentation titled Life in Color. Officials tapped into the emotional aspect of the program to showcase what the freedom and mobility provided by MyRide do for local seniors.

“We presented Life in Color and made a big rainbow with different services we provide on each color,” Motsinger told the Tomahawk. “One of our riders and volunteer drivers spoke too. After the rider spoke, she said the MyRide program brought color back into her life and flipped over her black and white photo to show it in color.”

MyRide has been searching for funding help to guarantee the program, called essential by multiple groups, can continue. Its original grant period is coming to an end this fiscal year, and program organizers hoped government funding would support the program, basing information on the Jonesborough branch of MyRide.

MyRide approached city government, county government, and other entities for help keeping the program afloat. As previously reported, MyRide officials were unhappy when local government agreed to supply only $12,000 of the requested $30,000 officials calculate the program needs each fiscal year. Program supporters are still hoping that local government will change its mind before the final budget is approved. The county will present its budget to the county commission during the June meeting on Thursday, June 17.

For more information on MyRide Tennessee Johnson County, contact the Johnson County Senior Center at (423) 727-8883.