Every year, the college students in Amherst spend Halloween weekend in costume, drifting to and from parties all over town. And for a number of years now, an Amherst church, MERCYhouse, has stepped in to help keep people safe and show some of God's love and grace with an outreach called Free Rides.
The church rents a small fleet of vans, pulls together a small army of volunteers (nearly 200 in recent years), and sends them out into the night to pick people up and keep them off the streets. Students call in to a dispatch center, which then carefully maps out where every van is and where people are and where they want to go. From there, the navigator in each van is contacted and given their assignments, who then relays to the driver where to go and how to get there. Finally, the host stays with the passengers in the van, greeting them and talking to them and cleaning up as necessary.
Just as the grace Christ has shown us is free, the grace the church shows to the students is free. The church accepts no money from passengers, even if it's offered, but will gladly explain why they're doing it.
For more information, or to ask MERCYhouse if there's any way you can help, check out their website.