Updated: 10:30 AM PDT, April 20, 2021
From free doughnuts to free beer, the effort to get the country vaccinated is underway and everyone is chipping in to help. That’s why this New Jersey couple is taking it upon themselves to offer any resident of Hunterdon County and Warren County a free ride to their vaccination appointment.
58-year-old Joe Cicchetti, the man behind Free Vaccine Rides, has even transformed his own black Fiat into a giant COVID-19 molecule for the occasion.
“The goal of this project is to just get more people with shots in the arm,” Cicchetti explained in a YouTube video. “If we can get one person that doesn’t get COVID because of what we’ve done here, we will have succeeded.”
He and his partner, Shirley Limburg, explained they are both fully vaccinated and retired, which gives them time to be able to drive people to and from their appointments.
Periodically, they even share updates on people who use their service, including 94-year-old Joe, a World War II veteran, and 85-year-old Delia, who celebrated her birthday the same day she received her second vaccination earlier this month.
To stay safe, Cicchetti and Limburg explained that they carefully sanitize their car between rides, and have even uploaded tutorials on their Facebook page showing potential riders their process. Riders of Free Vaccine Rides also must wear a mask at all times, sanitize their hands when entering the vehicle, agree to a temperature check and not be exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms at the time of the ride.
While he and Limburg are the ones currently giving the rides, they also put out a call on Facebook, asking other volunteer drivers to reach out. They have also set up an online fundraiser for those who want to chip in for gas money.