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Ashley's Ride


Daytona Beach, FL - February, 2021


When First Step Shelter resident Ashley Baker lost her life while crossing U.S. 92 in late January, local realtor and member of the New Smyrna Beach Rotary Club, Kevin Para, wanted to do something to help, which is how Ashley's Ride got started. 

FHP: Indiana Woman Struck & Killed on ISB

Para said when he heard the news story about the fatal accident, he came up with the idea of Ashley's Ride and contacted First Step to see what could be done. "They were very receptive. They're professionals. They know what they're doing and it really resonated with them and it resonated with the Baker Family. Obviously, we wanted permission from the Baker family to pursue this." Para said that Ashley's Ride is helping the family in the grieving process over her loss.

Funds raised for Ashley's Ride will be used for Uber and/or Lyft rides for First Step Shelter residents to get to job interviews, doctor's appointments, and even their jobs. Para calls this 'specialized transportation.' 

Para said that First Step Shelter is a great program. "It really does help the residents to succeed. That's what we're after. There's no sense in having built a facility, funded the facility without the community getting behind it. This is a great way for caring people in the community to interface with that program (Ashley's Ride)."

First Step Shelter has received a challenge grant of $5,000 from an anonymous donor specifically for Ashley's Ride. You can help reach that challenge by donating at


You can make sure your donation goes to Ashley's Ride by filling out the "Your Note for the Donor Scroll."

On Wednesday, April 21, 2021, Rotary Club of New Smyrna Beach presented First Step Shelter with a check for $1,200.  This money will be used to help Residents of the Shelter go to appointments, jobs, and other needed programs services SAFELY!  
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