Thursday, April 23, 2015

Volunteer Driver Receives Distinguished Honor

The Volunteer Transportation program is incredibly proud of volunteer driver Syd Darlington, who was recently recognized by Governor Jay Inslee at the 2015 Washington State Governor’s Awards for Volunteerism.  Syd and 38 other awardees were selected out of Washington State’s 1.82 million volunteers and honored at a ceremony at the Governor’s Mansion in Olympia.   Recipients ranged in age from 15 to 82.  Syd was humbled and inspired by the event.

Syd developed a strong ethic of service after arriving to the United States from the UK in 1981, but he became fully immersed in volunteer work after retiring in late 2007. He admits that he “doesn't like to be still for long” and enjoys keeping busy by serving his community. His volunteer résumé is quite long and includes a wide variety of roles.  In addition to driving seniors with Volunteer Transportation, Syd serves the Bellevue Police Department as a Crossroads Community Police Station attendant and general “Jack of all trades” (from record digitizing to event photography); teaches at Unity of Bellevue; and advises and judges with DECA.  Syd is clearly a people-person and reports that, like most volunteers, he understands the “warm glow” one receives from helping others.   He finds all of his volunteer work to be very rewarding and knows that it keeps his mind active and alert.

Volunteer driving is very near and dear to Syd.  When he first signed-up to drive for Volunteer Transportation back in 2008, he admits that he had no idea of how important and needed the service is for its clients.   He explains how he has learned the many layers of volunteer driving.  He says, “We are more than just drivers.   We are caregivers and companions.  We serve as social bridges for people who might not otherwise have outside contact with others.  Going to appointments is never a fun thing in the first place, and we bring light to the situation.”  In addition, Syd feels privileged to have given rides to many inspiring seniors who are great role models of aging gracefully.  He values these relationships.

Congratulations, Syd!  You remind us of what volunteering is all about.


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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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