Senior Services Seeking Volunteer Drivers
Bonnie Timm leads a busy life; she spends her time taking care of her grandchildren and going to the gym. Plus, every Wednesday morning she drives the Burien Hyde Shuttle, picking up seniors and people with disabilities at their homes and taking them to senior centers, grocery stores, medical appointments and other local errands.
Timm started volunteering with Hyde Shuttles five years ago when she found herself with a little extra time. She had just retired from UPS, wanted to work with seniors, and was especially interested in helping those who didnâ€™t have anyone around them to help them out. When she heard about the Hyde Shuttle program, it seemed like the perfect fit. With Timmâ€™s busy schedule, the programâ€™s flexibility appeals to her â€“ she can choose one four-hour shift per week and can take time off for vacation whenever she needs to.
â€œI love the huge array of people I drive each week â€“ a lot of clients are in their 70s and 80s and have such interesting stories about living through the Great Depression and World War II. And everyone is so appreciative – they come from a generation where you remember how to be polite!â€
Transportation is one of the top problems facing King Countyâ€™s elderly and disabled population. For people who canâ€™t drive and have no families or friends to help out, getting around town to buy groceries or eat a hot meal at a senior center can be very difficult. More and more people are turning to Hyde Shuttles for help.
Unfortunately, the program doesnâ€™t have enough drivers to meet this demand. In the past month, Hyde Shuttles has been forced to cancel routes in Burien. The program urgently needs to recruit more volunteer drivers like Timm.
Volunteers choose their weekly shifts and receive free training in defensive driving and passenger assistance. They do not need a special driverâ€™s license and do no lifting or bearing of weight. And, as Timm can tell you, the biggest benefit from driving the Hyde Shuttle is seeing the direct impact of her actions in the lives of the people she serves.
â€œA Shuttle ride makes their day,â€ she remarks.
For more information on helping seniors and people with disabilities in Burien by driving the Hyde Shuttle, please call Melissa at (206) 748-7588, email [email protected] or visit www.seniorservices.org.