A Sincere Thank You to the Tucker Foundation

by Hannah Jacobs | 11/2/99 6:00am

To the Editor:

The Tucker foundation has been the most important organization in my life here at Dartmouth. Providing an array of opportunities in service and mentoring, it offers students an outlet for their concerns about the world and the possibility to provide solutions to those concerns. I have participated in several of the programs that Tucker offers and also work as a secretary at the foundation, so I feel that I have come to be very familiar with the foundation, its employees, and the values it stands for. Therefore, I wish to dispute the argument that Tucker, since it is not able to provide cars for all Dartmouth volunteers, is forcing "volunteers into involuntary retirement," as suggested by Abbye Meyers in The Dartmouth on October 25, 1999.

The accusation that Tucker "chooses" to lend its cars only to certain volunteers is absolutely false. There are currently over 1,200 students volunteering through the foundation, with only six small cars available for use. Even if the cars were used for only one hour by each student, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, only 1,008 students would be able to access them for volunteer projects. It's a simple lesson of math. Tucker is not choosing to limit the students that can use cars to travel to volunteer sites. If the volunteer coordinators had their way, each and every student would be able to easily arrange transportation to his or her site. Inclusiveness and the encouragement of participation by all interested are always one of the highest priorities of the Tucker Foundation. But no matter how many attempts are made at squeezing the maximum number of students into vehicles or carpooling, there is just no way to physically accommodate all Tucker volunteers with the cars that are currently available.

If only students could see the endless hours Tucker's volunteer coordinators spend agonizing over car arrangements, perhaps they would all understand the challenges Tucker is facing right now. Clearly, six cars are not enough to accommodate 1200 volunteers participating in numerous service projects. Rather than criticizing Tucker, those who desire more access to transportation for service opportunities should be petitioning the college administration, trustees, and donors for more vehicles. Tucker employees are investing every ounce of their energy into fairly distributing the cars, and I would like to thank all of them sincerely for the compassion and concern they are exhibiting in their efforts to provide as many students as possible with resources and transportation for their volunteer interests.