TEST began as a way to supplement TriMet’s Catastrophic Leave Bank Program (HR-146.1-4). Our plan of action was to produce revenue that would help provide for the basic needs (food, shelter and so on) of transit workers stricken by catastrophic illness or injury.
Now, we’re expanding our vision beyond transit and working out new ways of serving the community at large. We envision TEST as a platform for aid to schoolchildren. We plan to work with schools and other community organizations in order to sponsor educational field trips, summer camps, arts and crafts and sports programs.
One of our first opportunities to bring joy to children came during the 2011 holiday season. We thank Naseer Serranilla for donating stuffed animals through Legacy Emanuel Medical Center. Hundreds of children who boarded our buses got a new cuddly friend as a special surprise.
TEST will also enhance a program already a cherished tradition among TriMet employees: the annual Shriners/A.B.A.T.E. toy run, when one special TriMet bus and dozens and dozens of motorcycles laden with gifts ascend Marquam Hill to the delight of young patients in Shriners Hospital for Children. TriMet drivers have always featured among the bikers on the run—and now TEST’s own Santa Bob will be adding to the merriment. Can Mrs. Claus even tell the difference?
As a transit operator I see a lot of need out there waiting to be addressed. I see single-income, part-time mini-run operators just starting out and trying to support their families on the hours they can glean. I see passengers on my runs clearly in need of food and clothing. Maybe we can’t save the world all at once, but we can start to give back. Any time we can provide even one child with a new positive experience or put food on even one needy person’s plate, we feel rewarded—and we are honored by the opportunity to partner with friends like you.
Without your support there is no TEST. Let’s go forward and make a difference together.