[The following was submitted to TLS by Tomchei Tzedakah, in response some comments made on this story] 1. Tomchei Tzedakah should arrange volunteer or low-cost drivers: For a time, Tomchei Tzedakah tried very hard to have volunteers drive meshulachim. We organized over one hundred volunteers, but it petered out. Part of the reason it didn’t work out was because meshulachim felt they made much less money when they were not driven by an experienced professional.
2. Drivers should only take an hourly rate:
Meshulachim prefer to pay a percentage because if the driver has an incentive the meshulachim often do better. The issue is that the drivers have banded together and are demanding a percentage that many feel is too expensive.
3. Support Aneyei Ircha and hire drivers from the community:
If any Lakewood resident wants to become an approved driver, they should contact Tomchei Tzedakah and we’ll help him get established.
4. Should Tomchei Tzedakah do more?:
As is evident from the comments here, there are varying opinions on whether the current system should be changed. That’s why the decision was made to ‘not enforce’ the new guidelines. But it is also unfair to a meshulach that is not using a driver or is using a reasonably priced driver to be denied donations (or even be denied the opportunity to meet with a nadvan) because the driver issue has poisoned the atmosphere. So the new policies add transparency to the process and will iy’h help many meshulachim.