Friday, December 27, 2013

Bringing 2013 to a Close

As we prepare for 2014, we'd like to share yet another creative card with you.  It reads, "You all deserve a BIG hand for all your diligent work in 2013!"  This is true for all of our staff and volunteer drivers. Thanks for making 2013 such a positive, monumental year!  We (silently) applaud you for your helpful service and lasting positive impact.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Happy holidays!

In this cold and dark time of year, our office is made much brighter by the many cards we've received from thoughtful clients and volunteers of our programs! Whether cute, clever, fun, and/or sentimental, they certainly bring us much joy.

Whomever you are and whatever holidays you celebrate, we at Senior Services' Transportation Program wish you this same uplifting good cheer-- now and always!

Friday, December 13, 2013

High Spirits at Annual Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon

Our Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon is often described as an annual highlight for the many volunteers, staff, and community supporters who attend it.   Although the venue, meal options, remarks, and awards may change, the gathering never fails to provide a fun and memorable way for us to remind our volunteer drivers of how grateful we are for their compassionate service.
The audience was captivated by the  tributes of the video.

Mary S. was the lucky recipient of a lovely
gift basket from QFC.
The 2013 Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon took place at the Bellevue Red Lion Hotel and offered much excitement.  In addition to the many raffle prizes, guests were also treated to a special surprise: a video montage of heartfelt messages from many local celebrities and politicians.  Cindy Zwart, Director of Senior Services’ Transportation Program, explained, “This year, the Transportation Program staff decided to do something a little different.  We enlisted the help of others here in King County who also recognize your invaluable contribution to our program and our agency and the community as a whole--people who were willing to take time from their busy schedules because they wanted to say thank you for the huge impact you have on the lives of all the seniors and people with disabilities that you touch through your gift of mobility.”  The video was very entertaining and touching.
Terry M. was the lucky driver
 who won a full set of new
Firestone Tires.
After the event had concluded, one volunteer wrote the following in an email: “I commend you and your staff for a very fine luncheon yesterday…   An observation that came to me is that this is a group of ‘gentle people,’ which the world needs a lot more of. The Seattle area is blessed with these and its many other volunteers.” 

These are very fitting words.  The Volunteer Transportation and Hyde Shuttle programs are, indeed, blessed to have so many ‘gentle people’ involved in them, and the giving, jovial spirit of our volunteers was certainly felt at the luncheon!


These volunteers were honored for their 5 years of service.
This impressive group was recognized for its 10 years of service.

Thanks to the many wonderful donations,
many volunteers were bestowed with beautiful prizes.
We’d like to thank the following businesses who helped make the successful event possible: AMTRAK; Seattle Symphony; Seattle Art Museum; Vince’s Enterprises, Inc.; Olympic Music Festival; Brown Bear Car Wash; Office Depot; Ivar’s/Kidd Valley; Highline Medical Center; QFC-- Quality Food Centers; Overlake Hospital; Washington Dental Service Foundation; Virginia Mason Medical Center; Seattle Chocolates; Donald & Teresa Benedict; Underground Tours/Bill Speidel Enterprises Inc.; Northwest Trek Wildlife Park; Unico Properties/Exchange Building; Ride the Ducks of Seattle; Walgreen Seattle North District Office; Firestone Tire & Service Centers; Oberto Sausage Company; Tim’s Cascade Snacks; Trident Seafoods Corporation; Museum of Flight; and Regence.   Their support ensured that our luncheon was truly an unforgettable occasion our invaluable volunteers.
Friday, December 6, 2013

Exit Survey Affirmations

It’s always difficult to say good-bye to one of our precious volunteers.  Yet, when life circumstances change and prevent a person from driving for the Volunteer Transportation program any longer, we understand.   We also collect exit reports from these outgoing volunteers to gain insight into their experiences with our program.  This week’s post comes directly from these surveys.

It has been quite heartening to peruse our most recent batch of exiting volunteer feedback.  You will note that many responses to questions echo others, and they all affirm the value of our work.  In addition, they offer many kudos for our hardworking schedulers!  Here are some of the statements from our volunteers:

What did you enjoy most?
  • Helping in a way that is really appreciated and needed.  I found the information given to me before every ride was so helpful.
  • Meeting the seniors and interacting with them.  Different experiences and stories every week.  Feeling a purpose beyond myself while I was in between jobs.
  • Meeting nice people and feeling the satisfaction of helping others.
  • Being able to help with transportation for people who needed it and chatting with the clients.
  • The knowledge that I was helping members of my community I otherwise would not have met.
  • Meeting the clients and discovering mutual associations.
  • I really enjoyed visiting with the clients.  They were always so nice and appreciated the rides very much.  It was interesting to hear about their lives.
Is there any other comment you’d like to share with us?
  • Thanks you so much for everything.   To Amy: Keep up the great work!
  • I think you’re doing such an excellent job!
  • Great program!  … Donald is a pleasure to work with.  Keep up all the great work you do. 
  • I really enjoyed working with everyone at Volunteer Transportation and the many coordinators over time.
  • Great feedback from the dispatcher, Donald.  He was always available to help in any untoward situation.  A pleasure to work with.
  • Can recommend SST to anybody who wants to volunteer.  It is very rewarding and fun.
  • I enjoyed the experience very much, working with the staff and clients.
  • It was a pleasure working with your dedicated staff.  I miss Donald’s cheery conversations.  Thank you all so much for organizing and keeping this vital services going for our needy seniors.
  • This experience with Senior Services has been so rewarding and uplifting!  We thank you all for providing such a super environment for us to help others!
  • Time has passed so swiftly since my orientation with Cindy fourteen years ago.  The void was filled since retirement and provided fulfillment.  We will miss you all and your dedication to a worthwhile endeavor.
  • Everyone we dealt with at Senior Services was especially kind and caring.  Just the kind of personalities who work well with our clients!
  • Donald is not only a fantastic coordinator but an amazing person.  His dedication and constant understanding and patience made Senior Services a great place to volunteer for.  Thank you!
  • It has been such a pleasure all these years of talking with different schedulers beginning with Mary Ann way back in the 90’s and ending now with Amy.  They have a great sense of humor and they all do such a great job.
As we fill the shoes of volunteers who have transitioned on to new phases of their lives, we hope that our new drivers find their work with the Volunteer Transportation program to be just as fulfilling, enjoyable, and rewarding.

About Me

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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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