Shreve said he always is looking for more drivers.
“I could always stand more drivers,” he said. “Just like more volunteers, we could always stand more volunteers.”
Shreve said drivers get a great deal of satisfaction out of the time spent in the SaintMobiles, which operate in all kinds of weather, as long as it is safe for them to do so.
“If the drivers didn’t get satisfaction out of it, they wouldn’t be out there,” he said. “In the wintertime it’s a terrible, terrible cold job. In the summertime it’s a terrible, terrible hot job. If they didn’t enjoy doing it, they wouldn’t be out there.”
SaintMobiles are neither air-conditioned nor heated, with the exception of small catalytic heaters carried aboard on the coldest winter days.
“About all it does is keep your hands from freezing,” Shreve said. “ It doesn’t help your feet at all.”
The carts’ capacity is supposed to be three adults and the driver, but that limit often is exceeded, Shreve said.
“I’ve had seven in there beside me before,” he said, “but they weren’t all big people, there were kids. You get relatives and kids, you can cram more than that in there.”
All young riders are given Tootsie Rolls, Shreve said, and some not so young, as well.
“Once in awhile adults will say, ‘Can I have a Tootsie Roll?’” Shreve said.
“They don’t want to be left out,” said Callicoat.
One trip at a time
Shreve, a former St. Mary’s volunteer of the year, also does other jobs for the hospital, working registration and escort. He has logged nearly 5,000 volunteer hours, in all.
But his favorite volunteer activity is driving the SaintMobiles, said Shreve, who worked 40 years as a carpet layer and 26 as a firefighter, then worked as a maintenance man at Oakwood Christian Church before finally retiring.
“I tremendously enjoy helping people,” he said.
One trip at a time.