RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Despite driving more than 1,000 miles each week, Theresa Sears says she’s actually not a big fan of being behind the wheel.
“Can you believe that? I do not like to drive,” she said. “But it’s important that it’s done, so sometimes you do things that may not be your favorite thing to do.”
The Sandston woman drives for those who can’t; clients who are blind, vision-impaired, wheel-chair bound, veterans and even children.
“People call, and we just say, ‘let’s go,'” Sears said.
Three years ago, Sears established the Lets Go Services, a non-profit that helps people in need get from point A to point B.
“Transportation was a very stressful part of their day,” Sears explained.
Other companies operate similar business to Sears’, but that’s what sets them apart; they’re companies that charge fees to turn a profit. Sears wanted to offer the same services, but she only asks for a donation or whatever the rider is able to pay.
“For them, it’s a day trip,” Sears said. “Even if it’s going to the dentist, they’re excited to get out.”
But where there’s a need for transportation, there’s often a need for a friend.
“Some of our clients go to doctor’s appointments and that might be the only time they’re getting out of the house for a month, and we might be the only person they’re seeing,” Sears explained.
Volunteer drivers for Lets Go also stay with clients while they’re inside the grocery store, dentist office or undergoing a medical procedure.
“And we don’t have boundaries,” Sears said. So, if your doctor is in Henrico and you live in Hanover or Richmond, Chesterfield, we’ll take you.”
“It’s just about seeing a need in people and just stepping up to fulfill that need”Theresa Sears, founder of Lets Go Services
Sears said Lets Go has almost 100 clients across Central Virginia who they help not just get around, but also preserve a sense of independence.
“We’re hearing it not only from the folks we drive, but also from their family members,” Sears added.
As the founder and executive director for this non-profit, Sears says she’s volunteered her time since the beginning. And that’s payment enough for her.
“Meeting the people and hearing their stories, that’s my reward,” Sears said. “I just love that part of it.”
Three years in, and Lets Go is going place. As they continue to grow, their mission and message are spreading around Central Virginia.
“We have several clients that are wheelchair-bound. We have a husband and wife that have cerebral palsy and we really need to get a wheelchair accessible vehicle for them,” Sears explained.
Sears hopes to continue growing the Lets Go footprint across the commonwealth, but she’s got her sights beyond Virginia, too.
“Really my goal would be to make it a national organization,” she said.
As we approach ‘International Women’s Month’ in March, 8News is honoring women doing remarkable things in our community. After soliciting you, our viewers, to nominate your friends, family and co-workers, we’ll be introducing you to the four finalists over the next several weeks.