The first 2 volunteer teams for Brandon's 2022 Operation Red Nose.
Photo Credit: Operation Red Nose Brandon.
After a 2-year hiatus caused by COVID regulations, Operation Red Nose returned during the yuletide season of 2022. The month-long campaign designed to counter impaired driving through the holiday season also raises funds for local charities. This year, ORN services in Brandon showed a sharp decline in numbers for both calls in need of rides and volunteers needed to provide those rides.
The service ran weekends from the last Saturday in November through New Years' eve. During the 7 nights ORN ran in Brandon (one night was cancelled due to stormy weather and dangerous road conditions), 60 rides were provided by a total of 85 volunteers. $1040.00 was raised which will be allocated to local youth sports programs. This year’s totals pale in comparison to the numbers from the last time ORN was available. In Brandon in 2019, 151 volunteers provided approximately 340 rides and raised over $4000.00.
ORN numbers were down in most communities across the country. For example, Winnipeg, which usually sees 1200 people using the service, unofficially topped off at around 800 this year. The biggest challenge this year is finding volunteers to facilitate the rides required. One of the main roadblocks that may cause apprehension among potential volunteers is the stricter vetting process which requires criminal record checks. However, ORN reimburses those who need CRCs. Volunteers also use their own vehicles and therefore burn their own fuel, although some sponsor support comes in the form of gas cards to help alleviate those expenses. In Brandon’s case, the Canadian Tire Gas Bar donated $500.00 in gas cards to help things run a bit smoother. Major sponsors behind Brandon’s ORN 2022 campaign are Safety Services Manitoba, and Manitoba Public Insurance. Local supporting businesses include CAA Manitoba, Pizza Hut, Domino's Pizza, Tim Hortons, Murray Chevrolet Cadillac Buick GMG Brandon, The UPS Store, Coke, Pepsi, Old Dutch, Accent Striping Ltd, Marino's Pizza, and Sunrise Credit Union.
The national collective totals from the communities across Canada that run Operation Red Nose are expected to be made available later this week. A total of 75 communities benefitted from the safe driving service this year. Operation Red Nose is a non-profit organization with a mission to encourage responsible behavior and prevent impaired driving.