Carmi man spends NYE giving free, sober rides

Man gives free car rides

CARMI, IL (WFIE) - While many cab and ride sharing companies are helping get people home safely New Year’s Eve, one man is doing it on his own.

“I just like helping people,” said Richard Powell.

We caught up with Powell fueling up his tank at the Casey’s General Store in Carmi.

“It’s a small town, you can get anywhere in like 10 minutes, we can get a lot done," Powell said.

Powell is a family man.

He’s got two kids of his own, but they’ll be going to bed soon, anyway.

He says this idea all started with a Facebook post.

“Actually, it was my mother-in-law, she shared a post yesterday, and it said something like, hey keep in mind, don’t post about road blocks it encourages drunk drivers to go around them and they’re on the roads longer,” Powell explained. “I thought, hey, I’m not doing anything and I don’t drink. My kids will be playing board games and after that I’m free to do anything I want so I thought I might as well give people rides, so here I am,” Powell laughed.

Powell said he recruited four sober volunteers to do the same deed around town. He said he also influenced someone who lives over 300 miles away.

“I inspired somebody in Rockford who is doing the same thing," Powell said.

Powell said he gets his giving spirit from his father, who recently passed away before the Holidays.

“He was a great person, and he liked to help people as well,” Powell said. “He’d give the shirt off his back, it’s inspiring.”

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