New Travelers Aid Program for Seniors Is about More than Transportation Alone

Photo Credit: Traveler’s Aid of Greater Birmingham

Lorenzo White is 70 years old and has been blind since 1998 as a result of glaucoma, which destroyed his optic nerve.

White, however, lives alone in Center Point and had to quit driving many years ago. For him, mobility and transportation have been an ongoing challenge, but he and other senior citizens have found great value in the new Compassionate Companions program of Travelers Aid of Greater Birmingham, a United Way of Central Alabama (UWCA) partner agency.

Through this new aspect of the Travelers Aid Senior Ride program, free non-emergency medical transportation for Jefferson County seniors is provided by volunteer drivers who do more than simply get clients from point A to point B. These volunteers help escort clients to and from vehicles and will even sit in on doctor’s appointments, if needed.

“This program is a great value to people like me — just to know that I have someone to walk me to my door,” White said.

Tiffany Twilley, Volunteer Program Manager at Travelers Aid, said her organization wanted to provide extra support to clients who are at risk of accidents, such as falling, and also don’t have anyone to travel with them.

“The program was put together to recreate that sense of community because a lot of people are isolated, whether due to age, chronic illness, disability,” Twilley said. “We just wanted to add a little more assistance and to let people know that they’re valuable in the community and that we care.”

Volunteers Needed

With the addition of the Compassionate Companions program, Travelers Aid is in need of significant volunteer support. While transportation in the Senior Ride program is handled by Need a Ride, a private company, volunteers and Uber Health are the primary providers in the Compassionate Companions program.

Travelers Aid is looking for volunteers 18 or older who have flexible schedules and a heart for serving seniors. To access training, register as a volunteer or learn more about the program, visit

Travelers Aid has run its Senior Ride program for decades, providing invaluable service to seniors in our community. The organization is one of the many ways through which UWCA provides critical support to our aged neighbors. From delivering meals to homebound seniors to providing respite services to family caregivers in Jefferson County, senior support is one of UWCA’s core impact areas.

To learn more about the United Way’s work and the ways we’re changing lives for the better in Central Alabama, visit