Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Volunteer in the Limelight: Harry Tipple

One could say that Hyde Shuttle Volunteer Driver Harry Tipple is a “professional” volunteer.  In addition to serving as a volunteer shuttle driver for three shifts per week, he also spends his “free” time at the Homeward Pet Adoption Center and Lake City Way Food Bank.  Moreover, he somehow manages to find time to support his four grandsons and will most certainly cheer them on at numerous youth soccer games this fall.

Yet, even with so much going on in his life, Harry is incredibly focused.  As I recently rode along with Harry during one of his shifts, it was clear that he was a natural at driving the shuttle.  Perhaps from his past experiences driving motor homes, he is cautious and alert as he maneuvers the van through various obstacles that one might encounter with such a large vehicle.  He notes that he definitely needs to have a “heightened awareness” as he drives, yet he appreciates this challenge.  He always enjoys learning something new and admits to having a “boys with toys” attitude with certain pieces of equipment on the van (such as the wheelchair lift). 

On top of being careful and attentive, Harry manages to remain caring and interactive as he drives.  He loves learning about the passengers and often finds himself reflecting on their lives: how one rider is able to seem so young at 85 years of age, how another can stay so up-to-date with modern technology, or even what the clients of the program would do if this service were not available to them.  Harry is certain that it’s the people that keep him coming back week after week, and it is obvious that the passengers enjoy spending time with him as well.

Thus, Harry is well-suited as a Volunteer Hyde Shuttle Driver, and it is quite appropriate and advantageous that he has chosen to add this role to his volunteer "career!"


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“Behind the Wheel” offers stories, reflections, news and updates about Sound Generations’ (formerly Senior Services') Transportation Program. Throughout King County, our inspiring volunteers provide needed mobility to local seniors, supporting them in their efforts to remain independent, healthy, and happy. Please drop by to read more about the unique experiences of our volunteers, clients and staff!
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