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RightRides Volunteer of the Month

  December 2011 - Mollie

I volunteer for a lot of causes and organizations, but I have to say that RightRides holds a special place in my heart and I really support the work that we do.

I started volunteering about a year ago (first as a navigator, and eventually as a dispatcher!), because I wanted a productive and helpful thing to do in the middle of the night besides eating ice cream & watching movies!

I've met a lot of rad people, and I really love that Kimmie is so receptive to my constant changes in names and gender pronouns! The knowledge that you help at least one person get home safe and without fear each night creates a feeling that just cannot be matched. I will talk up RightRides to anyone at any time, and I am so psyched to be nominated for Volunteer of the Month!


  November 2011 - Jaime and Jess


I've been volunteering for RightRides for a year. Jess sent me a link to the website and we both thought it would be a fun thing to do together while helping awesome women and LGBTQ folks get safely home at night. I enjoy volunteering because it's an important service, I get to meet all kinds of fun people, and we get to drive all around our city, which provides us views that are otherwise unknown to us as subway travelers!

While not volunteering for RightRides, I work as a research and data analyst for a non-profit in Queens. I also enjoy reading, hanging out with friends, exploring neighborhoods and other cities, and teaching myself how to play bass guitar.

I look forward to RightRides being able to expand their service to other neighborhoods (particularly Washington Heights, as that was the first neighborhood I lived in upon my move to NYC and it remains close to my heart!). I also hope to see similar programs modeled after RightRides in other cities!

I have been volunteering with RightRides for about a year now.  Jaime and I signed up together as a team, with me driving and her navigating. When I heard about the volunteer opportunity, I thought it sounded fun: hanging out all night with a friend (minus a hangover the next day!) and helping my community stay safe. One of my favorite things about volunteering with RightRides is that it makes me feel more connected to my city by meeting new people and exploring different neighborhoods.
When I'm not volunteering with RightRides, I work as a program coordinator for a sexuality education curriculum where I provide health education to youth and train youth-serving professionals. I also enjoy riding my bike, reading, hanging out with friends, walking my dog, or organizing in my local community.

Volunteering at RightRides inspired me to respond to recent gender-based violence in my neighborhood by co-founding an anti-violence organization called Safe Slope. Modeled after RightRides, we provide safe walks home to women and LGBTQ folks in South Brooklyn and work with other organizations to engage community members in preventing violence.   
I am excited to see RightRides further expand its work--geographically throughout NYC, but also in its scope, such as working comprehensively to make public transportation safer. I also hope to see RightRides serve as a model for others to implement in cities beyond NYC.


  October 2011 - Janet

I heard about Right Rides about 5 years ago in a local Williamsburg paper, and knew it was where I wanted to volunteer!  I started out as a navigator, and then after a year tried dispatching too.  In those early days we might only get 5 calls a night, so I am glad that we stay so busy these days!  

I enjoy being able to cruise around the city at night and meeting all the fabulous people that we serve.  When not working with Right Rides I work a teacher in a NYC public school and can most likely be found catching the latest indie film.

I would really love to see expansion within NYC and to other cities--Washington DC in particular.  Right Rides provides such a vital service and I would love to see the service available every night. I like being part of this organization that fills such a vital service in the city I love and knowing that we are able to get women and members of the LBGT community home safe and worry free.

  September 2011 - Trisha

While reading the comments section of a feminist blog, I came across a link to a certain website -- that was earlier this year. I've been volunteering since March and I'm proud to be a part of an organization such as RightRides!

Providing such a service is comforting, especially in such a big (and unpredictable) city such as New York. I look forward to the day when society puts the responsibility of violent crime on perpetrators, not victims.

Navigating and dispatching with other volunteers has been a wonderful learning experience and eventually, I'd like to become a driver, too! Women and LGBTQ folks having access to a safe and free ride home is very important, so I anxiously await the expansion of the service area, both within the city and elsewhere.


  August 2011 - Arun

I've been volunteering for about a year now and I love it! It feels good to be helping people and to unwind from all the stress at the end of the week by driving all over New York City. When I am not volunteering, I am working on crazy ideas and developing awesome web applications!

I wish to see RightRides go on to serve the entire city in the future and to expand into other cities as well. I strongly believe that everyone has a right to feel safe anywhere they go. And I am happy to be involved with something that gives people the assurance that they can in fact, reach home safely at the end of the day.


  July 2011 - Bryson

When I heard about RightRides about 2 years ago in a newspaper, I was looking for opportunities to serve my community as well as have fun. After reading about what the organization stood for, I really felt like I identified with core values of RightRides and the idea of driving all over New York was exciting to me.

Not only does RightRides provide a valuable service to the community, it serves as amazing networking experience for volunteers. I've met several amazing people that I may not have met otherwise and I'm sure many of my fellow volunteers have had the same experience.

With access to technology expanding at such a rapid rate there are many ways I can imagine RightRides expanding and streamlining to better serve the community and expand the volunteer pool to previously unachievable numbers. RightRides app anyone?

  June 2011 - Nate & Jes

After meeting at college in L.A. and going our separate ways, we both ended up in NYC in 2009. As soon as we learned about RightRides, we knew it would be the perfect way to combine our passions for driving, meeting people, redistributing resources, and serving marginalized groups. Plus we could do it together!

We've been on the road with RightRides since November 2010. We love the clients and the adventures that have come our way.

It's a great organization that takes excellent care of its beneficiaries and volunteers.


  May 2011 - Beth and Dawn

Beth: Dawn and I have been volunteering for RightRides for about 3 years and hopefully for many more to come. RightRides is a great service that I love helping to support and also volunteering is tons of fun. Picking a rider up after a night out or a long night at work and knowing that they can relax and enjoy a safe and free ride home is a wonderfully rewarding experience. Also having an excuse to drink coffee, listen to music and drive around the city catching up on some much needed one on one time with my buddy Dawn is a fantastic use of a Saturday night!

Dawn: As Beth said we have been volunteering for about 3 years, and each and every time we volunteer leads to an exciting adventure. Meeting new people, experiencing different parts of the city and observing late night Saturday nightlife from a different perspective are all amongst the benefits of volunteering. Plus the wonderful feeling it brings to your heart when you drop someone off at their doorstep and are showered with gratitude for providing them a safe and free ride home simply cannot be explained with words. Beth and I truly enjoy what has become a monthly ritual for us and we hope to continue volunteering for a long time.


  April 2011 - Keith

I think the RightRides concept is an excellent idea. It enables me to fulfill my civic duties and at the same time do something that I love-- driving all over NYC.

Not only am I a Desert Storm veteran, but I have been a retired NYC correction officer since 2003. My main reason for volunteering is that I feel that women and the LGBTQ community should be able to go out and enjoy themselves and reach their home destinations safe and sound without encountering any problems through their travels.

I hope that RightRides is able to continue to expand and get the national recognition it deserves.

  March 2011 - Colleen

I’ve been volunteering with RightRides for a little over two years, and I have been so grateful for the chance to act in such a direct way against assault, harassment, and fear.

When I first moved to the city, I didn’t know about RightRides and often couldn’t afford a cab ride to my apartment in Brooklyn. I really feel like if I can help just one woman or LGBTQ person get home safely, and without the anxiety that can come from taking public transportation late at night, then my night has been about as well-spent as it could be. Of course, I also want to encourage others to volunteer so that we can help even more folks.

I’ve also loved meeting some of the other amazing RightRides volunteers– you can really get to know someone when you spend 4+ hours in a car with them, and I pretty much always have a great time.


  February 2011 - Lani

I have been volunteering for RightRides for 15 months now and even though I’m honored to accept Volunteer of the Month, I have to thank the organizers and the people I’ve driven with for making it so easy and fun.  

I worked as a safety walker in college and was happy to find such a well-established
program in NYC when I moved here.  I volunteer for RightRides because I strongly believe in their mission.  I believe that women and all people deserve a sense of safety and hope that our presence, as RightRides
volunteers, will help to make that a reality for the groups we serve.  

When I’m not volunteering for RightRides, you might find me in  the lab (since I’m a graduate student in molecular biology), coffee shop, live music show, gallery opening, or helping my sister with a crazy art project.  I also enjoy running and biking around Brooklyn, when there isn’t 3 feet of snow on
the ground.


  January 2011

Laura: I'll admit, being a suburbanite, that I hadn't heard of anything like RightRides until Scott asked me if I wanted to join up with him.  My first thought was that I wish something like this had been around when I was in college.  I was one of the lucky ones, nothing ever happened to me, but there are few things scarier than being alone at night and feeling totally vulnerable.  It's nice being able to make someone feel safe.

Scott: I grew up in a working class neighborhood, so I understand the value of community based services.

In a 24/7 city like New York, people work all kinds of hours, and they often commute to do it. Getting to work usually isn't a problem, but getting home after a late shift can be. Public transportation can be sporadic, even nonexistent, on late nights and weekends in certain neighborhoods. Many subway stations are unmanned late at night, and combined with the long wait for a train, it makes for a potentially dangerous situation.

Through RightRides, I am able to help mitigate some of that danger, creating a healthier community for everyone. After all, if everyone did a little more, everybody would have to do less.



December 2010

We're dedicating December to ALL our volunteers who make this organization and service possible. Thank you!


  November 2010 - Chelsea and Chris

Chelsea: After moving to NYC for graduate school, I was eager to find a volunteer opportunity that would allow me to stay connected with both sexual violence prevention and LGBT services. RightRides is a fantastic program and service which allows me to do both, and works well with my busy schedule. All people have a fundamental right to having access to a safe ride home-- however, the reality is that not everyone does. RightRides is taking a stance to provide this important service and I am privileged to be a part of it.

Being a part of RightRides has been a rewarding way to stay involved in sexual violence prevention work, which I have done in various ways over the past six years. Having grown up in New York City, I was always aware of the need for safe transportation for women and members of the LGBT community, and I am thankful for the opportunity to lend my time to assist others. RightRides provides a seemingly simple service, and we may never know how many incidents we prevent, but as a volunteer I know that when I am behind the steering wheel, I am serving a greater purpose and helping to create a safer community.


  October 2010 - Emily and Kristin

Emily: I found out about RightRides from reading an article in Time Out New York, and signed up to be a volunteer a year ago. I love being part of an organization that actively helps people-- and for such a basic issue that's often overlooked: getting home safely. I also think this is a positive way to use cars in a place that’s usually so gridlocked & overrun with traffic. It's incredibly beautiful to drive around the city at night with Kristin, seeing different neighborhoods, meeting awesome people, and hearing great stories from our riders.

Kristin: I began volunteering for Right Rides with some encouragement from Emily and Kimmie, both of whom I volunteer with at Bluestockings. I love my late nights driving around the city with Emily and helping members of the community to get home safely. RightRides is a great way to see the city in a different way and to know that you are helping to make it a safer night for whoever you're able to take home.

  September 2010 - Hannah and Jessica

"Hannah and Jessica hated the idea of anyone being unsafe on their way home, so volunteering with RightRides was a no brainer. Once a month or so Hannah
weaves through traffic alongside cabbies with Jessica fearlessly navigating on a tiny blackberry screen.

While minimizing the risk of assault for our fellow New Yorkers is rewarding in and of itself, RightRides provides some more tangible perks as well. Notably, learning the city street by street, meeting more than a few unique riders, and test driving every car on the market.

When not actually driving folks home, Hannah and Jessica love passing out RightRides info cards, and encouraging their friends to call on such a great service. It is their hope that more people will
take the opportunity to volunteer, so everyone can get home safely."

  August 2010 - Ajah








"I first read about RightRides in Jessica Valenti’s book Full Frontal Feminism.  About two seconds later, I was signing up to volunteer.

I have always wanted to be a volunteer for an organization, but nothing I previously looked into seemed to fit. Then there was RightRides right in my front of my face. The hours fit perfectly with my schedule. I had a driver's license, and all I needed to bring was my cell phone! I was so in, and I’m glad that I joined.

I've found RightRides to be one of the easiest and fun ways to help out. It’s like picking up a friend, and who hasn’t done that before? It’s also a great way for me to learn my way around the city since I'm not a native New Yorker.  I now find myself walking past many familiar places now.

I’m grateful to be a part of RightRides. I have met some really cool people, and I even got one of my friends to sign up!  Now I’m working on the rest of them."


  July 2010 - Peter and Erin

Peter: “I found out about RightRides through the monthly Zipcar newsletter. I was excited to be able to help people by driving around my favorite city with (almost) no traffic. Since then I’ve volunteered as a driver, navigator, and even a dispatcher. I love helping people at risk of harassment and assault get home safe. Driving late at night is pretty peaceful, and it’s giving me a great opportunity to continue to learn my hometown.

“RightRides is so important to me because it is such a concrete way to help. It’s nice to talk about things and to try and change policies, but it’s an entirely different feeling to provide direct assistance. I love helping people and I love driving and riding around NYC, so this is a real win-win.”

Erin: “When Peter first brought up wanting to volunteer for RightRides I thought it was an awesome service and I was proud of him for wanting to help out. Born and raised in New York City I know too well the harassment and violence that can happen to someone just trying to get home. My mother, myself and dozens of my friends all have had personal encounters with it--so many, sometimes people dismiss these experiences as just a part of living here. It’s heartbreaking.

“I asked Peter how I could help out too, but I could not see myself as part of driving team (being unable to drive and having a terrible sense of direction). Still, I really wanted to help, so I asked if they needed any administrative volunteers. A resounding ‘yes’ later and now I come in weekly to help with various office tasks. I’m happy I found my way to contribute to the RightRides mission.”


  June 2010 - Natalie

"My Story: Once upon a time, in a not too distant parallel universe, everyone lived in harmony with each other. Everyone was at peace with their neighbours and they were happy.  Sadly I don’t live in that idyllic place and that’s why I volunteer with RightRides. 

I first found out about RightRides through a Zipcar newsletter and did not hesitate to sign up. RightRides “I am the solution” and “can do” attitudes along with their mission spoke volumes to me and set a wonderful example for the type of person I strive to be.

After learning the history, and knowing that the founders saw a void and stepped up to fill it, solidified my decision. I have not regretted it once and look forward to being a volunteer for as long as it takes to get as close as possible to that idyll. The End."

  May 2010 - Melissa and Leilani

"Volunteering for RightRides was Leilani's idea. Originally I envisioned playing cabbie to intoxicated and possibly obnoxious riders and was hesitant, but it was a volunteer opportunity that we could do together as a team so I agreed to give it a try.

Since our first night I have been pleasantly surprised with the diversity of the riders. On any given night we can safely take home a woman after a late shift at work, a gay male studying at the library until closing, and/or a transgender individual after a musical performance at a club. We have met some truly amazing people and even have some regular riders that we pick up and safely take home almost every shift.

RightRides is such a blessing for women and members of the LGBTQ community who find themselves needing a safe ride home in this city that never sleeps. It is a service that we so strongly believe in that we have encouraged all our friends to also volunteer.

Leilani & I volunteer at least once a month as a driving team and will soon start dispatching as well. Since we are from California volunteering has also given us a great chance to get to intricately know Manhattan and the surrounding neighborhoods. And what better way to spend a weekend night than to cruise around together meeting new people and singing along to our favorite tunes!"


  April 2010 - Elizabeth

"When I first heard about Right Rides there was a mili-second of thought as to whether I should volunteer or not. Once I started, I fell in love. The main thing I like about the program is hearing all the different stories from the riders and especially, how they heard about Right Rides and how much they appreciate the ride.

As a feminist, I'm always looking for ways to give back to my community as well as raise awareness to a relevant issue. The safety of women getting
home late at night is something we can all relate to - the subway rides that stretch for hours when you can't afford a taxi is a troublesome reality for
a lot of New Yorkers. The JOY that we get as volunteers is priceless!

And of course, as we all would hope, one day to see Right Rides 24 hours would be a dream come true. But before that, I'd love to see more NEW
VOLUNTEERS! They make all the difference. And I guarantee, once you volunteer once, you're hooked!"


  March 2010 - Acacia

"To tell you the truth, there are two reasons why I really enjoy volunteering for Right Rides. For starters, I LOVE to drive and I get to secretly play out my fantasy of being a cabbie.

But I also volunteer because I think its a great program and I want to see it expand and help women who live in certain neighborhoods that we have yet to cover (i.e. Jamaica, Flushing, Bay Ridge, the Bronx).  A long train ride into less populated neighborhoods at night can be just as jarring as going home to somewhere more accessible like Park Slope.

Nevertheless, I have seen  this program grow rather quickly within the last year because more people continue to support it in various ways. And if I can support the growth of this organization by driving women home safely, then I am all for it!


  February 2010 - Jackie

"I am so proud to say I volunteer for RightRides. When I finish a shift I know that I've made a tangible, positive impact on the lives of the people I've helped home safely.

 I can't wait for the day when there are enough
RightRides volunteers in the mix so that every person who calls during a shift requesting a ride is able to receive one!"



January 2010

January '10 is dedicated to ALL our volunteers who make this organization and service possible. Thank you!

  December 2009 - Courtney

"RightRides provides such a vital yet basic service by offering free, safe rides home and I'm really happy that I get to help.

I hate the sense of uneasiness that comes with trying to figure out how I'm going to get home after a late night out, and I got involved as a navigator because I don't want anyone else to ever feel that way.

The best part about being a part of RightRides is knowing that no matter what else happens on a particular night, the riders in my car will get home safely. In the end, my number one priority is to ensure that everyone has a right to bodily integrity.

I volunteer for RightRides because it's an organization that allows me to work towards this goal and take an active role in the fight against sexual assault."

  November 2009 - Nilou
  October 2009 - Amanda & Sabrina

Amanda: "Volunteering for RightRides is important to me on so many levels.  Not only is it one of the easiest ways to to give one's time, but volunteering for this mission helps reduce gender-based violence against those individuals and communities who are most at risk including low-income people, women, transfolk and gender non-conforming people.  

Knowing that I can make such a profound difference just by driving a car or answering a phone is meaningful and worthwhile. It's also great that I can volunteer alongside the people I care about including my friends and partners, making the shared experience incredibly gratifying."

Sabrina: "RightRides has offered me a great, accessible way to volunteer and to understand how to incorporate giving back into more of my life.  It is very gratifying to know that a simple sacrifice on a Saturday night can ensure the safety of those too often targeted on New York's streets late at night."


  September 2009 - Erin

"It was early spring of 2006 when my new girlfriend, now my wife, approached me about volunteering together for RightRides; little did I know what a profound impact this small act would have on my life.  That fall, to our astonishment, Morgan and I were nominated as the 2006 Distinguished Defenders for RightRides.  Oraia and Consuelo must have been able to see something in me that I wasn’t seeing in myself… I guess they were right because a year after that I accepted the position of Program Manager for the RightRides program.

Over the last two year RightRides has been my life, at times feeling more like my child than my job.  I’ve had the opportunity to craft and mold the RightRides program in a very personal way.  Everything from the volunteer emails to the cars they drive has a little piece of me included along with it.

Sadly, all good things must come to an end, and as it is with my time as the RightRides Program Manager since my wife and I are moving to San Francisco in early October.  We’ll be taking with us all of our possessions, our two cats, and a deep love of the RightRides program.  Who knows, this may not be the last you’ll hear from me. "

  August 2009 - Christina

When I first moved to New York in my early twenties, the daily volume of sexual harrassment I experienced -- from annoying to truly frightening -- was eye-opening. In discussing it with other women, I realized it was a very, very common experience for women. So common that women don't talk about it. So common that it seems widely accepted as something that won't change. That attitude strikes me as profoundly wrong.

As with anything else, change only happens when individuals work to realize it. Every time I drive for RightRides, I know I have guaranteed someone else's safety that evening.

As RightRides grows and more people hear about it, the idea that women's safety is important is planted in more minds. Every time we drive a woman home, we demonstrate how important her safety is to us -- it is worth time, money, and organization. Every time we drive a transperson or gay man home, we also demonstrate how important their safety is to us.

I'm proud to contribute to that shift in thinking, in my small way.


  July 2009 - RightRides Regulars









July is dedicated to our RightRides Regulars - volunteers who sign up for a scheduled monthly, or bi-monthly, shift; such as driving every second Saturday of the month. 

Since the RightRides Regulars program launched in January there has been a significant increase in the number of volunteer shifts performed each month, which is one of the major contributing factors in why RightRides has been able to expand to Friday Nights!

Not only does this program help increase our volunteer force, it helps volunteers meet the volunteering requirement of 10 shifts per year.

Volunteers who are interested in joining the RightRides Regulars program should email Erin at to discuss setting up a regular, recurring shift.



  June 2009 - Lyssa

"I am a survivor of Domestic Violence, this is one of the reason's why I decided to volunteer for RightRides. I was so lucky and blessed to have  many wonderful, caring individuals that took time from their lives to see that my children and I were safe.

When I saw the news segment of the wonderful organization that provides rides home to women,  right then and there I wanted to do something.

People have asked me "why do I do this?"  with a strange look on their face!  I always say it's rewarding and I feel the need to do this. For me it's satisfying, it's fulfilling knowing that I can help RightRides with their mission.

For me it's a 2-for-1, I love to drive, and it makes me happy knowing that I got the Rider home safe and made that person comfortable and happy.
This is why I volunteer for RightRides.

  May 2009 - Becky

"I volunteer for RightRides because its mission truly resonates with me.  Unfortunately, we've all been affected, or know someone who has been affected, by violent crime.  I can't think of a better cause than eliminating assault and bringing safety and peace of mind to our City.

There is a prevalent myth that in order to be an independent, modern individual, one should not ask others for help.  This way of thinking leads many to take needless risks with their safety.  RightRides is working to eradicate that myth by bringing the issue of safe transit to the forefront.

I've been aware of RightRides for a couple years but did not feel compelled to take advantage of the service until recently.  Upon stepping in the car, I immediately felt at ease, and as soon as I got home, I inquired about volunteering.  My shift is something I look forward to each month, and the genuine gratitude that riders express is both humbling and incredibly rewarding, as is working alongside the inspiring people involved with RightRides.

I hope that one day, there will not be a need for a service like RightRides.  But until that day, I will continue to help RightRides in bringing safety to our communities."


  April 2009 - Krista

"I volunteer for RightRides because I believe they're doing the right thing.  Giving a safe ride to those who've had to second-guess a gut feeling when getting home is why I chose to sign up. 

RightRides allows people to take control of how they get home, instead of being stressed out and fearful of what might happen.  I've had my share of waiting for the bus at 1 AM and being followed home, and I never want to be in those situations again.  By driving for RightRides, I know that I'll be able to provide a solution and maybe at least a couple laughs in my car.   
Volunteering is important to me because with a small effort on my part, I can make a great impact.  Helping people out reinforces a sense of self and the knowledge that everyone has the same basic human needs.  Understanding one another and freely giving each other our time is hard to come by in this world and especially New York. 

I'll never fully know what a safe ride and peace of mind costs to those who use the service.  I just know that the sigh of relief when we get a pick-up and the endless thank-you's make me glad to be a part of it."  


  March 2009 - Grace and Carlos

Grace and Carlos may not have been volunteering with RightRides long, but so far they have proven to be both dedicated and valuable volunteers. 

Since being oriented Grace and Carlos have both signed up for the RightRides Regulars program, volunteering the first weekend of every month, for a total of 22 combined shifts for the year.  It is because of new and dedicated volunteers like Carlos and Grace that RightRides is able to continue expanding. 

We look forward to working with Carlos and Grace, as well as the rest of our 147 active volunteers, towards expanding the service to new nights and populations.

For information on the RightRides Regulars program, or to sign up e-mail

  February 2009 - Uchendu


“I admit that my original motivation for joining RightRides was somewhat selfish: I wanted to drive more often, and RightRides seemed a perfect way to do that while also helping out in the community. But after attending the orientation session and observing the level of organization and focus RightRides has brought to its mission, I knew that this was a cause I wanted to be a part of on a more substantial level.

There are so many reasons I love volunteering for RightRides. Chief among them is that it’s not some abstract thing; when we take someone home, we can see it in her eyes, her voice, her body language; she’s relaxed and unafraid. There’s no better feeling than seeing a rider fall asleep, knowing that when she wakes up, she’ll be right outside her front door. And that’s one less person who has to brave the subway at 1AM, which anyone can tell you is a stressful experience.

RightRides has also helped me know and appreciate New York. The city can be cold and foreboding even for locals; it’s so vast and so dense that it’s easy just to stick to your little corner of it. But volunteering for RightRides not only lets me learn the city’s streets, it also gives me glimpses of how people experience it from unique perspectives. That’s something I look forward to on every shift.

RightRides has turned out to be everything I hoped it would, and I count myself fortunate to be a part of it.”

January 2009 - January '09 is dedicated to ALL our volunteers who make this organization and service possible.

  December 2008 - Pablo

"I have always been interested and involved with volunteerism. RightRides is a tremendous grassroots organization that is able to use modern technology to communicate effectively amongst the volunteers and provide an efficient and world class service to the community. Personally, I was impressed with the organization and felt that I had to volunteer. 

Secondly, when my roommates used to describe their commute home on a late night, I was disturbed to learn how unsafe it was for them to travel alone. I never really understood their ordeal since being a guy, I felt like I was able to defend myself. RightRides presented me with an opportunity to help people like my roommates and also to give something back to the community.

I recently discovered a quote from Winston Churchill which really inspires me to continue doing what I do and hopefully inspires others who read this message:
We make a living by what we've got, but we make a life by what we give.

  November 2008 - Kathy

"I volunteer for RightRides because it means a great deal to me to provide a safe haven for women, transgender and gender queer people to get home in New York.  I spent years living in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, and while it's fun and edgy, there's still a risk for anyone deemed 'vulnerable.'  I want to be part of the solution to make New York the best city in America and RightRides is one of the reasons it is.

I'm also impressed that RightRides is so well thought out.  It takes every possibility into consideration, and while training is easy, any and all questions have been addressed in the material issued by the organization.  I can easily see RightRides become the standard 'safe ride' organization for women in the US, copied in every major metropolitan city.

I look forward to working with RightRides as it grows and expands its offerings."


  October 2008 - Devon and Kelle

"RightRides has exhibited incredible perseverance and drive to grow their programming so it can serve as many people as possible. We are so impressed by RightRides - as they continue to grow, and we look forward to being a part of their volunteer force, supporting their every effort and ensuring that no one has to sacrifice a safe ride home.

Devon: When I first found out about RightRides, it was in its beginning stages and seemed like such an amazing idea. I really wanted to help them grow and succeed in their mission.

Like many others, I have had to take the train home late at night because I could not afford a cab or car service. Looking back, I realize how many of those times I was in a dangerous or less than ideal situation. The service RightRides provides is invaluable, and I love spending a Saturday a month knowing that I’m doing my part to keep people as safe as possible.

Kelle:  I recall the grassroots start up of RightRides, when orientations were held at the Mini Marketplace in Williamsburg and women learned of the service from word of mouth.  I immediately wanted to participate in such a resourceful and needed organization, but like most twenty-somethings in NYC, I couldn’t quite find time to volunteer with such a busy schedule.  I am so grateful to have the time now to contribute to RightRides by volunteering a shift a month. 

I know that feeling of dread when you don’t have the means to jump in a cab to get home at the end of a Saturday night and have to take the subway home, hoping that you don’t cross the path of anybody who could potentially cause a threat.  I look forward to continuing working with RightRides, doing what I can to make sure women arrive home safely."

  September 2008 - Jesse

"I believe that no one should have to feel afraid to walk home at night. Unfortunately, that is the reality many women and trans people are forced to live with every day. 

I started volunteering as a driver this summer because I am so impressed with what RightRides has done over the past four years to raise safety awareness and empower people to take care of our communities.  To me, RightRides represents the ultimate "doing it for ourselves" approach. 

We all need to take care of ourselves and each other, and I am glad I have this opportunity to pitch in and help keep our communities safe."

  August 2008 - Rachel

"I volunteer for RightRides because I like its direct, grassroots approach to addressing street harassment and violence against women. The fear of street harassment and harm is something that every woman/trans-person experiences.

Being a single girl who goes out a lot I have definitely taken cabs home quite often simply because I did not feel safe walking alone, and living on a non-profit salary made that decision a difficult one to make. In fact at one point I was working at a nightclub and had to quit because I got followed home by a guy exposing himself to me 2 blocks from my house at 3:30 in the morning.

So when RightRides came along I was thrilled that there was someone who recognized that women should have the right to stay out and have fun but also the right to get home safely.

I started using the service back when it started and then became a volunteer back in 2006 and have been volunteering ever since!"

  July 2008 - Liz


"Volunteering for me is a no-brainer.  I probably call on RightRides for a free, safe lift home once a month, how could I not do my part by also becoming a driver? 

Besides that, it's kind of fun to drive around the city at night, especially on Saturdays when it's extra alive and teeming with activity.  It's satisfying to get some people home safely and then wake up Sunday morning feeling warm and fuzzy instead of hungover!"

  June 2008 - Virginia

"I first found out about RightRides through a co-worker who is also a volunteer - Ben R. I thought that RightRides was a fantastic idea for a service, but I wasn't ready to put myself out there - especially the idea of sitting in a car for several hours late at night with absolute strangers.  So I put the card that he gave me on my bulletin board.  Once I started to feel more secure in myself and my return to New York, and I was ready to put myself out into the world, the first thing that I did was look into volunteering - to meet new people and to give something back.  And I remembered RightRides.

I have always believed (about living in NYC) that a person has to believe that he/she is king of the city to survive and thrive.  It is hard enough for women, trans and genderqueer folk to step into that power during the daytime, but it is particularly difficult when the lights go out and when there are fewer people (who may have your back) on the streets and the subway. And we all know that a belief in and projection of personal strength will only go so far when put up against an assailant who may have more physical strength and/or a weapon. 

In my years living here, I have walked in a lot of dangerous neighborhoods late at night and early in the morning.  In fact, some would say that I live in one of them right now.  I have bull-headedly done a lot of things that were not particularly wise, in order to get home when I haven't had $20 for a cab. And I have been very, very lucky. 

While driving for RightRides, I have heard a lot of stories about people who were not so lucky - passengers and navigators and their close friends and neighbors.  I have listened more closely to my own friends as they tell their own stories of attacks and harassment that happened to them in the past.  And every story lights another bulb.  This city is not Disneyland.  But we do not have to hide or be afraid.  We can help each other to make it a safer place.

But the real cementer of my dedication to RightRides happened a few shifts ago when my navigator and I were taking a very young woman from SoHo to her apartment in Williamsburg.  She was bundled into the car by a couple of her friends.  As we were navigating our way towards the bridge, I glanced into the rear view mirror and noticed that she was crying.  It turned out that she had just moved here from Hawaii, and her transition was not an easy one.  She felt alone and helpless and defeatist, and those couple of hours with her friends in SoHo were the first where she felt that anyone cared. 

My navigator and I spent the rest of the ride telling our own NYC transition stories and giving gentle reassurance that the city had goodness and love in it that would reveal itself in time. And that part of that revelation would be contingent on stepping up to meet it - and that would happen in time as well.  And I realized that our words were at that moment being backed up by our actions.  The volunteers for RightRides are giving and getting a piece of the city back in return."

  May 2008 - Morgan

"I started volunteering for RightRides in June 2006, first as a Driver, then a Dispatcher, then finally as a Navigator, too. 

There really are two reasons I volunteer for RightRides.  First, it's really wonderful to be making such a tangible difference in New York City - I am, on my volunteer nights, taking X number of women home safely.  Some nights [my team may drive] only two or three, some nights we take six people home in [our car with] combined pick-ups and drop-offs.  Everyone we meet on the service is so grateful, it's really easy to see the difference we're making. 

There was one time, when [my driving team partner Erin A. and I] were picking up a girl in Downtown Brooklyn, and she was with a group of about three men.  We were getting ready to do the "we can take the girl home, but not the guys" speech, when one tapped on my window.  I rolled it down, and all he said was, "Thank you for getting my friend home safely."

Second, it's some of the most fun volunteering that I've ever done.  Especially in New York City, where nobody has a car, it's a real treat to turn on the radio and drive around for an evening.  I've learned my city so much better (a real asset when I'm trying to get somewhere new on my bike!), and I love trying all the new Zipcars. 

And when we're Dispatching, there's a really fun aspect to choreographing the routes of all of the cars - plus how many opportunities do you have to make a difference [from home] in your pajamas!"

  April 2008 - Erin S.

A politically-active, civically-minded person who's always fought for justice (from equality in juice boxes to coed collegiate standards), Erin joined RightRides in 2006 to help make her neighborhood of Greenpoint, Brooklyn, a safer place to live and play. In the two years since she joined, she's learned much more about her community (including directions around Bushwick!), met many extraordinary people and helped dozens of people get home safely.

When she's not dispatching for RightRides from 'Central Command' in her home office, Erin is an advertising copywriter at TBWA\Chiat\Day. Her infectious laughter and pink hair can be found in the stands at every Gotham Girls Roller Derby bout, and playing or watching any number of sports around the city.

Erin says, "I will continue to volunteer with RightRides until the day our society no longer has a need for the service."

  March 2008 - Danielle and Toby



"Struggling to get home one evening when the L [train] was undergoing service changes, I met a girl and spent a few minutes trading horror stories about navigating the city at night. After we discussed the shuttle busses, sudden stops, and walks through industrial parks at 3am, she told me about RightRides and gave me the number.

Here was a safe, free way for me to get home on Saturdays without having to worry about cabbies who wouldn’t go to Brooklyn, or sketchy car services charging exorbitant prices that my then-retail-wages couldn’t cover.

Every woman I know has a horror story - one was walking home late at night when she realized the footsteps she heard were following her; one had a man come up to her as she was unlocking her door; most (myself included) have faced the catcalls, lewd suggestions and lecherous looks of men on the street, bus, or subway.

Even without the [subway] service changes, getting home late nights can be a harrowing experience. I volunteer with RightRides because I fervently believe in their motto, that getting home safely should not be a luxury." 

"When I first discovered RightRides, I viewed the organization as an important contributor in the effort to reduce sexual violence against women in New York. But until last August, this was just a theoretical concept in my mind. As a guy from the suburbs, what in the world did I know about sexual violence in the city? This changed when I started to volunteer as a driver and navigator.

Each night, I would inevitably hear stories from women who had experienced close calls or were victims of violence, usually on their way home at night. I quickly realized the magnitude to which I had taken this safety for granted in my own life.

When I talked with female friends, I discovered that virtually everyone had their own experience to share. Worse than the stories was the outlook that this was somehow inevitable – they would always be afraid to walk home at night.

I volunteer with RightRides because I believe that no one should have to live with that fear."

  FEBRUARY 2008 - Dahlia

"I started volunteering for RightRides in 2006 after reading an interview with Oraia and Consuelo on I had been looking for something to volunteer for and this seemed like a good fit.  I was already a member with Zipcar so I could start driving right away. 

Eventually, there was more of a need for Dispatchers than drivers, so I started Dispatching, which I love since I can work from my own couch, and I get to talk to every rider of the night. 

I think it is an important service because it can be pretty unsafe to take the subway home late at night when you don't have money for a cab and this way people don't have to spend half their earnings just to get home safely."

JANUARY 2008 - We here at RRWS were still recovering from all our hard work in 2007! January '08 is dedicated to all our volunteers who make this organization and service possible.

  DECEMBER 2007 - Vivian

"I started volunteering with RightRides in 2006.  I work as an advocate for the rape crisis center in my county, so I deal with the aftermath of sexual assault. 

RightRides is amazing because its goal is to prevent sexual harassment and assault from ever occurring in the first place!  The fact that RightRides exists and so many people are involved, gives me hope that we can build a safe environment for everyone. 

My goal for the New Year, aside from volunteering more with RightRides, of course, is to skate my way onto a roller derby team!"