Friday, March 20, 2015

Volunteer Driving-- The Best Way to Spend Your Retirement Years!

Our volunteer drivers represent a variety of backgrounds and have a diverse array of experiences.  They come from all walks of life and span seven decades of the age spectrum.  But there’s no denying that a large number of them are retired.

This became particularly clear at a recent volunteer driver gathering in Kirkland. As each volunteer introduced himself/herself, many stated something along the lines of the following: “I became a volunteer driver because I wanted something meaningful to do that would get me out of the house and keep me busy during retirement.”  They also remarked, “I really enjoy it because the people are so grateful for my help and make me feel like I’m making a difference.”

These volunteers are on to something.  As noted in this article in USA Today,

"Volunteering is not only good for others, it's good for you.

Research shows that people who volunteer report lower mortality rates, lower rates of depression, fewer physical limitations and lower levels of stress than those who don't volunteer, says Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that administers Senior Corps, AmeriCorps and other programs. ‘The health benefits are huge.’"

The story also details the significant positive impact these retirees collectively make in our communities: "More than 20 million older adults — more than a quarter of those 55 and older — contributed on average more than 3 billion hours of service in their communities per year from 2011 to 2013. The value of this service is estimated at $75 billion."

We are grateful to have so many retirees as volunteer drivers for our program.  It is an obvious win-win situation for all of us!

Of course, if you know a retiree looking for a fun and worthwhile way to make the best of their newfound freedom [or anyone else with weekday availability], send them our way!  Have them contact Hilary at (206)748-7588 or to start their journey as a volunteer driver.  They can “pay it forward” while finding passion and purpose in their golden years.


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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