Charlottesville-Albemarle Rescue Squad Makes Fundraising Push
The Charlottesville-Albemarle Rescue Squad (CARS) has only raised one-third of the money it needs to operate next year. The all-volunteer organization relies on community donations to keep its services free.
With so many volunteer rescue squads now charging, CARS says it's been free for 51 years and will remain that way.
With November almost gone, CARS needs to raise a total of $400,000 by the end of the year.
CARS President Michael Berg said, "We're doing a pretty active campaign both through letter writing and working with other stakeholders in the community."
Part of that campaign is on the air, by showing people what CARS has to offer. The other part is through a mailer, breaking down the costs to answer a call, fuel for a day and the value of time from one volunteer. Donations from the community account for half of the organization's annual budget.
Being an all-volunteer organization, there are no personnel costs. All money raised goes toward training, equipment and fueling ambulances.
"That money does go toward the overall operation of the organization," said Berg.
In recent years, CARS has had to extend its annual giving drive into January and sometimes February. It's a move the group hopes doesn't have to happen again this year.
Berg said, "The economy itself gives a bleak forecast but a lot of the organizations are suddenly seeing an increase in monetary donations."