February Van Trips: The February COA van schedule includes: Thursday, Feb. 7, 9:30 a.m. to Super Walmart, Salem, N.H.; Tuesday, Feb. 12, 9:30 a.m. to Rowley; Thursday, Feb. 14, 9:30 a.m. to Plaistow, N.H.; Tuesday, Feb. 19, 9:30 a.m. to Newburyport; Thursday, Feb. 21, 10:30 a.m. to Haverhill; Tuesday, Feb. 26, 9:30 a.m. to Seabrook; and Thursday, Feb. 28, 10:30 a.m. to Target, Methuen. Suggested donation is $2 round trip. Reservations can be made two days in advance by calling the COA.
NEET fundraiser: The Northern Essex Elder Transport program is collecting used cellphones as a fundraiser for the volunteer-run elder medical transportation program. By partnering with Cellular Recycler, the National Council on Aging either recycles used cell phones for their metals or refurbishes the phones for use in developing countries. Funds raised by the local collection will benefit the NEET program. The fundraiser will continue through February. In its 31st year, the NEET program is a nonprofit volunteer program serving elders in 14 communities throughout the Merrimack Valley. Volunteer drivers with the program provide door-to-door transportation for elders to local and out-of-town medical appointments. A collection box for used cell phones is available at the Council on Aging office.
Shared medical rides: The Merrimack Valley Regional Transit Authority provides shared medical transportation one day a week for Special Services customers to Lahey Clinic in Peabody and several Boston hospitals. In Georgetown, a van will pick up and drop off clients at their homes on Mondays. Those who need a ride on another day should call the MVRTA’s Office of Special Services, which will do its best to accommodate needs. At Lahey Clinic, customers should make medical appointments between 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. The van will leave Lahey Clinic no later than 3:30 p.m. Customers with medical appointments in Boston should make appointments between 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. The van will depart Boston no later than 3:30 p.m. Boston hospitals include Massachusetts General Hospital, Mass Eye and Ear Infirmary, Shriner’s Burn Institute, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Boston Medical Center, Tufts New England Medical Center, Tufts Floating Hospital for Children, Beth Israel/Deaconess Medical Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Children’s Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Joslin Diabetes Center and VA Medical Center in Jamaica Plain. Rates are $8 cash one-way or $16 cash round-trip. Reservations and applications are necessary and may be made one to two weeks in advance by calling the MVRTA at 978-469-6878, option 3.