SAN ANGELO, Texas — While many people got to enjoy their snow days from home, first responders don’t get the luxury of having the day off, and still have to find a way to work despite the ice and snow. The San Angelo Jeep Club took it upon themselves to volunteer their lives and jeeps to help get their community member to work and home safely.
The idea to help give free rides to Shannon staff came to San Angelo Jeep Club Vice President James Bartlett the evening of Valentine’s Day. After quickly texting Jeep Club President Jarrod Castler, the plan was in action. Bartlett posted the announcement on his own Facebook page, and in just a short bit of time, the post had been shared 300-400 times. By 4 p.m. Valentine’s Day, about 35 ‘Jeepers’ as they like to be called, were on the icy roads giving rides to medical personnel, and they haven’t stopped yet, staying on the roads night and day.
The San Angelo Jeep Club is a group of 515 jeep and off-road enthusiasts who love fun and community outreach. They mainly focus on veteran outreach and hosting the Twin Buttes clean up with other groups around Texas. Castler and Bartlett are both veterans themselves, and truly know how to serve the community they love.
Since the beginning of this, the group had also been pulling people out of ditches and delivering a heater to a woman and her children who were without power, but their operation has recently grown even more. On Monday, February 15th, the leaders of the San Angelo Jeep Club got a request to deliver Meals to the Elderly, and by the next day there were 20 new drivers specifically for that project. Not long after, the City of San Angelo asked if they would drive people without power to the warming center at the McNease Convention Center. The group is about to pass the 200-ride mark, having done at least 70 rides the very first day. With many homes still without power and water, the ‘Jeepers’ are going to continue giving out rides as long as they are needed.