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Via Turns 35 – Board Member Guest Post

During Via’s 35th anniversary year, I am sharing my blog with guest writers – Via board members, employees, riders and community members – who are writing about their experience with Via. We also welcome your contributions. If you are interested in sharing your story for “Via Turns 35,” please contact Mary Cobb at 303.473.2882. We’d love to hear from you!

This week we’re hearing fromVia board member Sharon Svendsen. Sharon is Louisville-based attorney whose firm focuses on elder law and estate planning.

Lenna Kottke, Executive Director 

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Providing Mobility Options for the Community

As a professional who works with an older population, I regularly witness how important Via Mobility Services can be for clients who no longer drive and have no one to assist them with transportation. Via helps riders get to appointments, grocery stores, health centers, church and so much more.

Originally called Special Transit, Via was founded in 1979 and turns 35 this year. Thanks to innovative leadership and a creative approach to change, Via has evolved into one of the most-admired mobility non-profit organizations in the country.

Through my work with other community groups, I have seen how clients of many organizations are connected to Via through mobility assistance. There is a dynamic interaction among our Boulder County non-profit organizations. Leaders and staff know each other and work together to make sure clients do not slip through the cracks. Via is a crucial part of this referral network.

The bottom line is that, thanks to Via, many more people are able to live normal, active lives. I observed this firsthand on my recent Via “ride-along.” One rider went to adult day care and another to the local food bank. The Via driver knew their personal stories, referred to them by name and asked about their families.

When I suggest Via services to my clients, I consider how it might feel to be a rider. Would I feel uncomfortable or like a “charity case”? After experiencing the caring, friendly atmosphere of the ride-along, I know I will have no hesitation to call Via, if I ever need its services.

Thank you Via for 35 years of service to local businesses, non-profit organizations and the many riders who depend upon you for their temporary and/or long-term mobility needs.

Sharon Svendsen
Sharon-Svendsen