by Tina Podboy Laughner, Volunteer & Outreach Manager
Kurt Silvis is our December Volunteer of the Month for his contributions as a driver for our Transportation Department. Kurt started driving in April 2019 and has given us over 350 hours! Of those 350 hours, 57 of them were in June of this year when Kurt returned to driving as we continued to open up services during the pandemic. Trish Brown, Transportation Manager, says, “Kurt was the second driver to step in to drive during COVID. He was willing and able to drive starting in June. He is always available and willing to adjust to changes in the schedule. I have had several clients comment on how respectful, kind and courteous Kurt is. He has a good rapport with people. He’s very caring – he’s a good guy!” Kurt recently retired from the Bob Evans Corporation, where he managed multiple restaurants. He was used to interacting with people in his career and that has transitioned well into his volunteering for Senior Services. Why did he start volunteering? “I wanted to do something nice for people,” he said. “I didn’t realize all that Senior Services does.” And why does he continue? “You meet a lot of nice people and it gives me something to do during the week. It is worth it to hear all of the thanks yous.” Kurt encourages others to volunteer: “You meet new people and have great interactions. You’ve got almost a half hour with the ride there and back for a decent conversation! It’s a good feeling to know you’re helping someone.”
Kurt and his wife live in Midland and have two grown sons who both live in the Midwest. Kurt grew up in Muskegon and has worked all over the Midwest. Senior Services Transportation Drivers use our vehicles (cars and wheelchair accessible vans) and drive clients to medical appointments, grocery stores, etc. Monday through Friday. Drivers are encouraged to take one day a week and our big need is for people who can drive the accessible vans, maneuvering and strapping down wheelchairs. It is very rewarding – our clients are so appreciative of the service.
“It’s just a lot more fun than I thought it would be. I’m happy I chose Senior Services,” Kurt says. And we are happy you chose us, too, Kurt. Thanks so much for your dedication to the older adults of Midland County and congratulations on being chosen as the Volunteer of the Month!
If you are in need of any of the programs and services that Senior Services offers, call (989) 633-3700. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, call Tina at (989) 633-3741.