Operation Red Nose is looking for more volunteers to keep up with call numbers following its first weekend in Saskatoon.
“Our numbers are way up from last year. We pretty much doubled our numbers on Friday night,” organizer Tom Armstrong said Monday.
Operation Red Nose kicked off its holiday run Nov. 24, providing people a safe ride home in their own vehicle. Phone lines are open Friday and Saturday nights between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m.
Right now, the pre-New Year’s dates end the weekend of Dec. 16 and 17, however, Armstrong said they’re hoping to change that.
“Traditionally we work nine evenings, and we’re starting to think we should be running the weekend of 22nd and 23rd now,” Armstrong said. “We’re looking for more volunteers.”
He said there are around 30 volunteers taking part in Saskatoon — a total of 10, three-person drive teams to collect clients and their vehicles.
Over the weekend, there were 39 calls for service.
Armstrong said the group is particularly concerned after Saskatoon police charged five men with impaired driving between 7 p.m. Friday and 3:30 a.m. Saturday.
“The ones who call us are responsible drivers,” he said. “There’s obviously a need and we want to help.”
While there is no set fee for Operation Red Nose, donations are encouraged.
That money is then given out to the charities of choice: Ronald McDonald House, Lions Speed Skaters and the Lions Band.
“We have gone out and picked up young people who have nothing left by the end of the night — and I can tell you, we are not going to leave anyone stranded,” he said.
Currently, the service only operates within the communities of Saskatoon, Regina, Prince Albert, The Battlefords and Yorkton.
Drivers are encouraged to download the mobile app or call 639-480-NOSE (6673) for a ride.
People interested in volunteering can find out more online.