Their days often begin before the sun comes up. They sometimes don't
return to their homes until long after supper is over. They are the
members of the Kosair Shrine Transportation Unit, making sure Kosair
Kids from all across Kentucky get to their medical appointments.
The Transportation Unit has a direct and meaningful relationship
with our "Kosair Kids".
The purpose of the unit is twofold. First, we provide drivers for
the Kosair Charities van while on scheduled trips to and from our
free Shrine Hospitals and other medical
facilities for required appointments. Secondly, we supervise and
provide patients, parents and/or guardian with adequate food,
housing, and Shriners' love and compassion to insure a safe,
pleasant and enjoyable experience.
Traveling in pairs, Transportation Unit volunteers drive Kosair
Charities' full-size vans that are large enough for a child and a
parent, guardian or other family members. One of the vans includes a
wheelchair lift. The trips begin at the Kosair Charities garage,
with Unit volunteer drivers leaving early enough to pick up the
passengers and drive to the medical facility in time for the child's
Most trips are scheduled in advance. Common destinations are the
Shrine Hospital in Lexington and in Cincinnati. Many trips are for tests
or care following an operation. Some of the trips are more critical
in nature. All the people we transport are medically fragile
children and, often because of the circumstances, their emotionally
fragile parents and guardians.
Trips completed in one day often include providing the patients and
their parents with meals and companionship during long waits at
hospitals and clinics. If the trip requires an overnight stay, the
Unit makes sure passengers arrive safely to lodging.
Most of the Transportation Unit's members are retired from busy
careers, but they are driven to help children who need it. In an
average month, more than a dozen Unit members make eight roundtrips,
traveling a combined 2,800+ miles.
The Transportation Unit is the essence of what being a Shriner is
Truly, the Nobles of the Transportation Unit "Walk the Shrine Talk"
for Kosair Shrine.