Austin is home to thousands of incredible drivers. This month we're highlighting just a few of their stories. Meet Kyle, full-time developer, part-time Lyft driver, and founder of RideCares.com.
When and why did you start driving with Lyft?
I started driving with Lyft in July of 2014 because I thought it was a cool concept and I had a car that wasn’t being used frequently. I started by driving on Friday nights instead of drinking. I would commit to driving people home from the bars on Friday to guarantee myself an early wake up on Saturday to volunteer for Keep Austin Beautiful.
On top of that, I would pick different causes and donate 100% of my earnings and tips to causes that I’m passionate about.
For the past two years you’ve been donating 100% of your driver earnings to charity?
Yes. A few months after I started driving with Lyft I built a website called RideCares to log what I was doing. I had raised somewhere around $1,200 on my own when my friends started telling me that I should figure out a way to get more drivers involved. Being a web developer and seeing an opportunity, I built RideCares so that other drivers could give a portion of their earnings and tips to causes that they are passionate about.
What kind of causes?
Our causes are all over the map because it’s whatever each driver cares about. They range from pet-related causes to the environment to community causes to disease awareness. It’s a great platform for engagement. Instead of talking about the weather or what you’re doing this weekend during a ride, you can talk about what people actually care about.
What causes are you most passionate about?
I’m generally more passionate about environmental causes because it’s something we all share.
As a driver, what’s an ideal ride for you?
Any ride when you get a good sing-along going.
What’s the most rewarding experience you’ve had through RideCares?
It comes down to Mike and Shannon, who are also part of the Lyft community. Just being able to help them and see hope. The disorder that Shannon is suffering from, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, is also labeled as suicide disease because many people who have it end up committing suicide. It’s a chronic pain disorder that has no cure and is far above the pain scale of giving birth. Mike, who is a driver and mentor in Austin, is so passionate about RideCares and making connections through Lyft. You never know who you’re going to meet and maybe that next person will be someone working in the hospital who researches the disorder and finds a cure. You can donate to Mike’s awareness page at Love.RideCares.com and Shannon’s at Hope.RideCares.com. They are ultimately what keep me going with RideCares. It’s very important for me to help them increase awareness.
Thanks, Kyle! Check back this week for more inspiring Austin driver spotlights.