YORK, ME – Jud Knox, former CEO of York Hospital, was looking for a way to continue to serve his community in retirement. “I did a fair amount of soul-searching,” he explained. “I asked myself, ‘What do you want to do now? What’s important to you? Who are you?’”

He quickly found himself on the path to providing volunteer services for older adults in his community, particularly transportation. “I have always felt that there are a lot of issues for older adults that are difficult to address, and in fact go unaddressed.”

Along with his wife, Laurie, Jud launched Heart To Heart Ageless Love and began providing free transportation for older adults in York. They provide rides to medical appointments, the grocery store, the pharmacy, social events and other errands at no cost to the rider. “Requests came rolling in very, very rapidly,” Jud said. Heart to Heart is currently providing 30-40 rides per week.

And the group is growing. Recently, Kennebunk Savings granted $10,000 from its Huntington Common Charitable Fund (HCCF), which was created in 2006 to help older adults in York County lead complete and fulfilled lives. Kennebunk Savings has served as a steward for the fund since its inception.

“We talk a lot about access to social determinants of health,” said Rachel Peter, Community Relations Administrator for Kennebunk Savings. “There are these basic services and needs that are easy to take for granted. They’re not particularly glamorous or showy, but filling in the gaps can be transformative. Our HCCF advisors have long understood how critical transportation can be for older adults in our communities, especially in the more rural areas of York County. Heart to Heart’s barrier-free approach is crucial to meeting the needs of older adults in our community.”

“I am a person who loves connection,” Jud added. “The relationships that one can develop, just from a conversation during a drive to the doctor’s office… it is phenomenal. It is so much more than just a ride.”

With the funds from the Kennebunk Savings HCCF, Heart to Heart will now be offering a stipend to their over 20 volunteer drivers to help offset rising fuel costs. “It’s not much, but it is an expression of appreciation to our volunteers,” Jud said. He hopes to attract more volunteers to the program and increase the scope of their work.

The Kennebunk Savings Bank Foundation’s Huntington Common Charitable Fund is now approaching the second-quarter deadline for new grant proposals in 2022. The HCCF seeks to improve the lives of older adults in York County, Maine. For more information, and to apply for a grant, click here.

For more information or to volunteer, please visit www.hearttoheartagelesslove.org or call 207-361-7311.

Photo caption: Laurie Knox, Volunteer Driver, with one of the Heart to Heart cars.