Friday, December 18, 2015

2015 Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon Recap

The Transportation Program’s Annual Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon took place on December 15th, and (as always) it was a fun and inspiring event for all those in attendance. The gathering was the perfect way to thank volunteers for everything they’ve done in the past year and recognize drivers celebrating milestone anniversaries with the program. With good food, motivating words of wisdom, interesting conversation, and amazing prizes, it was certainly an afternoon to remember!

Here, staff members eagerly await the arrival of over 215 volunteers and program supporters at the check-in table.
The room was soon filled to the brim with positive energy and excitement.
5-year drivers
10-year drivers
15-year drivers
Many wonderful door prizes were given out to over 30 lucky winners.
There was even a unique fish basket.

Cindy Zwart, Transportation Program Director and Senior Services employee for 25 years, included a humorous and thoughtful Top Ten list in her remarks. All volunteer drivers could relate to her commentary.  Her "Top Ten Reasons You Know You are a Volunteer Driver" were as follows:

1. You don’t get paid. And believe me, we couldn’t afford to pay you! Last year you donated over 55,000 hours of your time – the value of your time based on Washington State’s estimated value of volunteer labor was $1,266,824.90!

2. On a regular basis, your significant other looks at you and says, “Are you taking the car again, dear?”

3. You know the back roads to every medical facility in King County.

4. You feel really, really good! Studies show that people who volunteer experience better physical health, including lower blood pressure, increased brain function, lower rates of depression and a longer lifespan. Which means you can drive for us for many more years!

5. You are the star of your book club because now you have time to read each month’s selection while waiting at the doctor’s office for your client.

6. You have a recurring nightmare that you are lost in a parking garage in downtown Seattle and cannot find your way out.

7. You mean to call your husband, but you call Donald [Lead Volunteer Transportation Coordinator] instead.

8. You’ve made many, many new friends. In all their cards and letters, clients describe you as their friend, their life saver, their hero, their guardian angel. Every time you drive, you bring a smile to their face, a little joy to their day, you touch their hearts and make they realize that someone cares.

9. Every year you get to attend a fabulous Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon.

10. At night when you go to sleep, and in the morning when you wake up, you know in your heart that whatever evils and problems afflict this world that you are helping to make our community a more humane and better place to live.

The festive occasion renewed enthusiasm for continuing our collective work to “make our community a more humane and better place to live.”

***We’d like to publicly thank this year’s door prize sponsors who helped make the 2015 Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon such a resounding success: Ivar’s/Kidd Valley Restaurants, Taco Time, Tim’s Cascade Potato Chips, McLendon Hardware, Jiffy Lube, PCC Natural Markets, EMP Museum, Washington Dental Service, Brown Bear Car Wash, LeMay Car Museum, Total Wine & More, Wing Luke Museum, Trader Joe’s, Museum of Flight, Ethan Stowell’s Chippy’s restaurant in Ballard, Mary Ann Arnone, Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle Chocolates, Office Depot/Office Max, Emerald Downs, Trident Seafood, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley, Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, Paula Houston, Pacific Science Center, Donald and Teresa Benedict, and Tulalip Resort Casino.


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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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