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Drivers help seniors stay active in their community.

Featured Article

Building Bridges - One Ride At A Time

Local Senior Citizens Grateful For Nonprofit That Helps Them Maintain Their Independence

The desire to live an independent life is a strong one. As soon as a child takes its first steps, the journey toward freedom begins.

The rush toward independence continues throughout the teenage years, and it intensifies the day that a teenager gets a driver’s license. At long last, the young driver has the ability to come and go as he or she chooses, setting the stage the freedom that comes with adulthood. Mobility provides the means for a person to live, work and play without having to rely on others.

Unfortunately, some people lose the capacity to drive as they become senior citizens. For some, the inability to drive is due to a medical condition, such as poor hearing and eyesight. Others may not be able to afford a vehicle due to living on a fixed income.

After a lifetime of living independently, the sudden loss of mobility can be devastating, resulting in serious mental and physical health consequences. Without being able to drive themselves, seniors become dependent upon others to provide all of their transportation. They are no longer able to set their own schedules, and they are only able to come and go when others are available to drive them.

Fortunately, for seniors over 60 who live in the Hendersonville area, there is a solution – Community Life Bridge.

Since 2019, Community Life Bridge (CLB) has addressed the transportation gap for many seniors, helping them continue to lead productive and independent lives. Through its Community Life Ride program, CLB enables seniors to maintain their mobility, resulting in improved physical, mental and spiritual health.

“Community Life Ride fills the driving void faced by many seniors across our county,” said CLB Program Director Christine Martin. “In the program, we pair volunteer drivers with eligible riders to help them get to where they need to go, such as doctor’s appointments, grocery shopping and social gatherings.”

Since its inception, CLB has made a tremendous difference in the lives of all of its riders, helping them to remain happy and active within the community.

“I just love Community Life Ride, and I am so thankful for it,” says rider Betty Callis. “The drivers are so helpful, and they truly take care of me and the other riders. I have made friends through the program, and I don’t know what I would do without it.”

Betty’s sentiments were echoed by fellow rider Joy Barbarine.

“The volunteers are more than just people taking us to our scheduled appointments – they are our friends,” says Joy. “They are wonderful people who have gone so far above and beyond what I expected when I joined the program.”

Although Community Life Ride’s positive impact on riders is quite evident, it has an equally profound effect upon the volunteer drivers.

"All of the riders just seem so appreciative of us and the service we provide,” says driver Wendy Perry. “Recently, one of my riders gave me a hug and told me that I made her week."

Driver and 2023 Community Life Ride Volunteer of the Year Deborah Wilmore agrees with Wendy.

“Community Life Ride is much more than a transportation service – it is a bonding of friendship between the driver and the rider,” said Wilmore. “I care about my riders, and they care about me. I end every driving day feeling better than when I began because of the time that I got to share with my dear rider friends.”

The gratitude expressed by riders and drivers is also felt by CLB staff and board members.

“Through Community Life Ride, I receive so much love and encouragement from our riders,” adds Christine. “They are so appreciative and quick to let us know that they love the program and what it brings to their lives. That spirit of thankfulness helps me stay focused on growing the program and reaching so many more who no longer drive and are looking for transportation."

As a nonprofit organization, CLB is always looking for additional volunteer drivers and donations from the community.

“While we are making a difference in many lives, there are still people that we have not yet been able to serve,” says Christine. “We encourage all persons interested in volunteering or donating to contact us at our office.”

Community Life Bridge

177 East Main Street,

Hendersonville, TN 37075


  • Driver Ashlie Wright assists rider Betty Callis with her grocery shopping.
  • Driver Bonnie Bowles celebrates with a rider who just received good news at a doctor's appointment.
  • Rider Joy Barbarine is grateful for the Community Life Ride program.
  • The bond between driver and rider is strong.
  • A driver helps a rider with his walker.
  • Drivers and riders soon become friends through Community Life Ride.
  • Smiles across the generations happen daily at Community Life Bridge.
  • A rider and a driver share a funny moment.
  • Drivers help seniors stay active in their community.
  • Community Life Bridge Program Director shares a moment with rider Joy Barbarine at a recent event.
  • Volunteer of the Year Deborah Wilmore speaks about the importance of Community Life Ride at a recent event.