United Way of Southwest Louisiana Launches Ride United Vaccine Access Campaign

May 11, 2021, by Ashley

Free rides to COVID-19 vaccine sites in Lake Charles Area

Lake Charles, LA May 11, 2021 – Today, United Way of Southwest Louisiana announced the launch of the Ride United Vaccine Access Campaign. This program gives residents who have transportation challenges free rides to COVID-19 vaccination sites in Lake Charles with Lyft. Residents can access this transportation assistance or learn more by dialing 211. This effort is made possible through a grant from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation in partnership with United Way Worldwide and the Louisiana Association of United Ways.

As parish, state and federal officials continue scaling up the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, the Ride United Vaccine Access Campaign will help more eligible people get immunized to protect their health and the health of the community. Rides are provided through Lyft ride credits, which you can activate on a Lyft smart phone app. Or, you can call 211 to schedule a ride, subject to Lyft availability.

“Now that the COVID-19 vaccines are available to everyone 16 and older in Louisiana, we want to help as many people as possible get their shot,” said Michael Tipton, President of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation. “Unfortunately, lack of transportation prevents many people who would otherwise sign up from getting the COVID-19 vaccine. That’s why we’re proud to support the Ride United Vaccine Access Campaign and make free rides available to and from vaccine appointments for those who need them. Vaccination not only improves health and lives, it’s how we can get back to the things and the people we love.”

…”United Way of Southwest Louisiana is honored to be part of the Ride United for Vaccine Access Campaign and provide rides to members of our community in need of this special help. A simple call to 211 is all that is needed to take the first step. You can also text a ZIP code to 898-211 to reach 211 via mobile text. We look forward to helping members of our community access this critical service….”

The program is underway in Lake Charles and the immediate surrounding area if drivers are available. If outside the area of Lake Charles, visit lyft.com/vaccine-access and click “Get a ride” to see if there are eligible services in the area.

“Time and again, we at LA 211 have worked to give personalized attention to the elderly and vulnerable populations, ensuring that they have information to take effective steps to stay well as we navigate COVID-19,” says Sarah Berthelot, President and CEO of the Louisiana Association of United Ways. Now in Southwest Louisiana region 211 is able to provide transportation help through the Ride United Vaccine Access effort to provide equitable access for best health.

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About United Way of Southwest Louisiana

United Way of Southwest Louisiana is an authority on recognizing, measuring and mobilizing the resources to target community needs in Southwest Louisiana with a focus on four pillars: Education, Economic Mobility, Health and Basic Needs. For 80 years, we have supported efforts in Allen, Beauregard, Cameron, Calcasieu and Jeff Davis Parish that improve the quality of life for all residents through volunteerism and resource development.

211 provides free and confidential information and referral services to all living within the parishes of Southwest Louisiana, 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Services can be accessed by dialing 211 or texting a zip code to 898-211.

About the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation works each day to improve the health and lives of Louisianans by empowering everyday people to do extraordinary good. By building and funding coalitions of friends, families and neighbors, the Foundation hopes to build a healthier Louisiana, particularly for its children. The foundation is funded solely by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, but is a separate 501(c)(3) nonprofit entity. In 2020, Blue Cross and the Blue Cross Foundation invested more than $14 million in Louisiana’s communities and nonprofits with programs and services reaching 6.4 million people.

About Lyft
Lyft was founded in 2012 and is one of the largest transportation networks in the United States and Canada. As the world shifts away from car ownership to transportation-as-a-service, Lyft is at the forefront of this massive societal change. Our transportation network brings together rideshare, bikes, scooters, car rentals and transit all in one app. We are singularly driven by our mission: to improve people’s lives with the world’s best transportation.