Grimes Volunteer Support Services hosted a Business in Grimes event Thursday, July 12. The goal of the event was to spread the word about the nonprofit business.
The idea for the business came from Percy Kvitne, who was a pastor for St. Peter Lutheran Church in the 1960s. Once he retired, he moved back to Grimes to be near his children. As he grew older, he had many doctor appointments to attend. That is where Kvitne came up with the idea for GVSS.
The nonprofit offers services to get elderly or disabled people to the doctor. The business started in 2010 and has evolved over time.
Now, GVSS not only offers transportation services to doctor appointments, but it does offers yard work, minor house repairs and provides medical equipment.
“About 80 percent of what we do is transportation. We serve elderly and folks with disabilities … (and take them) to medical doctors, appointments, dialysis, to treatments,” Jay Brewer, president of GVSS, said. “We also provide transportation to the senior meal site. If somebody needs to go shopping, we’ll get them there. They need to give us about six days notice so we can plan arrangements, because we do about 220 trips a month.”
All the services GVSS offers are provided to the business’s goal of allowing people to stay in the comfort of their own homes for as long as possible.
The business currently has about 85 volunteers and 190 clients. GVSS does not have any staff members - only volunteers.
The nonprofit is flexible with its volunteers hours, as about half of its volunteers have full-time jobs.
“We don’t want anyone to feel trapped. If they are mowing a yard (regularly) … but if they are gone for a week, just give us a call and we can find a sub,” Brewer said.
Brewer likes to tell people that they can give the company one or two trips a month - which is the average trips volunteers make.
“We can always use volunteers,” Brewer said. “If people know of (anyone) that needs our services - we provide primarily to Grimes area residents, but we take people all over the metro area. … You don’t have to live in Grimes to be a volunteer, just to be a client.”
Brewer is hoping GVSS is around for years to come.
“We kind of say we’re a work in progress,” Brewer said. “What we did two or three years ago may not work now, so we keep on looking out and do what we do to make sure that it’s effective.”
For more information or to volunteer, visit grimesvss.com or call 515-986-5355. Office hours are from 9 to 11 a.m. Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays.