Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Meyer Caplan, the 85-year-old Volunteer Transportation client who often sends us festive holiday greetings (as detailed on the Halloween blog entry found here) sent us incredible Thanksgiving posters.  We'd like to share them with you here and extend his lovely (and funny) messages to all of you:
The cheery poster-sized cards are displayed prominently on our office filing cabinet.
The typed poem reads,
"May you have hope in the joy of Thanksgiving
A Heart filled with peace and contentment
Love that will fill empty places
And happiness that makes your heart smile."
The bear holds a heart that says, "Thanks for the rides!"

Humor can be found in both posters.  In the page with the male pilgrim, the turkey declares,
"Wouldn't you rather have roast beef this year?"  In the page with female pilgrim, Tweety Bird
recites the following joke: "What key has legs and can open doors? ... A turkey!"

We hope that you enjoy Meyer's artwork as much as we do.
On this special day that reminds us of the many blessings in our lives, we GIVE THANKS for all of the amazing volunteers, staff, and clients who make Senior Services Transportation Program so wonderful!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Client Profile: Audrey L.

Volunteer Transportation Helps Senior Adjust and Adapt to New Life

When Audrey lived in Taipei, Taiwan for a year, she was a very particular shopper.  Storekeepers listened patiently as she used great detail to describe the precise item she sought-- stipulating its size, colors, shape, and design.  But Audrey really wasn’t picky, and her true purpose was not to purchase something specific.  Audrey shopped to learn.   She used these daily excursions to practice her Chinese vocabulary and become more fully immersed in the culture that surrounded her.

Taiwan is just one of the diverse locations that Audrey has called home.   She has also lived in New York, Germany, Japan, and Kansas.  She has a strong sense of adventure; she loves learning; and she has a deep appreciation for the arts.  She lives fully, no matter where she resides.

Audrey moved to Redmond three years ago.  She sorted through the countless things that filled the home she’d shared with her late husband, donated her beloved piano to a local nonprofit organization, packed up all of the meaningful artwork she’d collected over the years, and left Kansas behind.  She was eager to see her grandchildren more often; she was ready to open up a new chapter of her life in Western Washington.  
Audrey’s Redmond home is full of art—including paintings,
carvings, sculptures, and figurines—reflecting her many
experiences.  “Everything has a story,” she states.
“These are my life, my memories.” 

Audrey attempted to adjust and adapt to her new environment—as she had always done.  But it wasn’t so easy this time.  The process of downsizing and relocating after the loss of her husband was much more difficult than she’d imagined.  She explains, “It was very, very traumatic.  Frankly, I just wasn’t myself for the first two years.”  

Audrey discovered Volunteer Transportation as she transitioned to her new life in Redmond.  She was afraid to drive longer distances, and her dentist’s office informed her that the program’s volunteer drivers could take her to her appointments in Seattle, Bellevue, and Kirkland.  She was delighted. 

The volunteer drivers have been very welcoming and kind to Audrey.  She enjoys their conversations during rides, and she doesn’t know what she’d do without the program.  She makes an effort to tell each and every volunteer how much she appreciates their help. Audrey says, “I tell them how important their volunteer work is—that it’s a wonderful contribution to our community.”  She adds, “It’s a great service, and it’s much, much needed.” 

Audrey, who is now 82, credits Volunteer Transportation for helping her to feel more at home in the Pacific Northwest.  Starting anew was not easy, and it took some time to get her bearings straight.  But Audrey is her determined, creative, and curious self once again.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veterans Day Tribute

We are honored to have many veterans (and family members of veterans) involved in our programs-- both as clients and as volunteers. On this Veterans Day, we stop to reflect on the purpose of this federal holiday, as described by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1954: “to solemnly remember the sacrifices of all those who fought so valiantly on the seas, in the air, and on foreign shores, to preserve our heritage of freedom.”

KCTS 9, our local PBS affiliate, has produced many informative and compelling Veterans Day pieces.  Their work includes many stories about local veterans, many of which mirror those shared with us by people involved in Senior Services' Transportation Program.   We’d like to share them with you via this link.  Please check them out.

We salute all veterans (and those who sacrificed along with them) for their honorable service and invaluable contributions to our country!

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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