‘Help Your Friends And Neighbors’: Arlington Heights Volunteer Retires


Community Corner ‘Help Your Friends And Neighbors’: Arlington Heights Volunteer Retires Joe Ruane has been a volunteer driver for Connections to Care, a nonprofit transportation service for older adults, for 20 years.
Joe Ruane and Amy Gall, director of programs and operations at Connections to Care. (Connections to Care)
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL — Joe Ruane lives his life by a simple mantra.
“I believe we were put on this Earth to serve others,” Ruane, who has volunteered as a driver at Connections to Care for the past 20 years, said. Ruane, who is also a board member for the Arlington Heights nonprofit organization that provides transportation to local older adults, is retiring.
“Connections to Care is so grateful for Joe’s long-term service and we look forward to being able to enlist his wisdom and guidance,” Charlene Padovani, executive director of Connections to Care, tells Patch.
Connections to Care provides rides to medical appointments, lab visits, physical therapy, dental visits, hearing tests, x-rays, across 14 Northwest suburbs by utilizing volunteer drivers like Ruane. The organization was recently awarded the top nonprofit of 2023 by the Arlington Heights Chamber of Commerce. Since 2006, CTC has provided local seniors with more than 36,000 rides.
Ruane joined CTC in 2003 when it was known as Escorted Transportation Services. Since that time, the organization says he has driven seniors to their appointments at least one to two times a week, rain or shine, sleet or snow. CTC estimates Ruane has provided more than 500 rides and over 3,000 volunteer hours. Ruane’s “dedicated, selfless service” has enabled countless older adults to be able to care for their health and remain an independent and vital part of the community.
Ruane is also an active volunteer at St. James Catholic Church (Arlington Heights) as well as Alexian Brothers Mental Health Hospital (Hoffman Estates). He was a recipient of the Village’s Heart of Gold in 2014. Ruane plans to continue helping his Arlington Heights neighbors in retirement and recruiting volunteer drivers for CTC.
“Help your friends and neighbors, volunteer for Connections to Care,” Ruane said. To learn more about Connections to Care, call 847-222-9227 and visit the organization’s website.



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