by Tina Podboy Laughner, Volunteer & Outreach Manager
Dave Evans has been nominated as Volunteer of the Month for July. Dave has been volunteering since September 2019 as both a Transportation Driver and a Meals on Wheels volunteer, accumulating over 600 hours. Most of his transportation hours have been since January of this year when it was tougher to get drivers due to the pandemic. Trish Brown, Transportation Manager says, “Dave is always willing to take a whole day driving, never wants to leave early, and always makes clients feel important. He has even changed his personal plans to accommodate our needs. Great sense of humor!” Kathy Burlingame, Transportation Scheduler, adds, “He goes the extra mile with the clients, always making sure they are safe. And he’s always available if we have a last-minute need.” Dave has also delivered Meals on Wheels all through the pandemic, using the safety protocols that we put in place for both our clients and volunteers. Michele Burkett, Food Service Coordinator, says, “He is the most polite person I have ever met. Even when he’s not representing Senior Services and I see him out in public, he’s opening doors for people! He’s always helping out. He’s the definition of ‘gentleman.’”
I caught Dave on a break from driving one day and asked why he volunteers. “Well, the old standby – to keep busy. My father delivered Meals on Wheels for over 15 years in Pennsylvania so I decided to try this! I am not a natural extrovert but I found that by delivering meals and driving people to appointments, I opened up more and learned so much about Senior Services and realized that this is really important stuff. As long as I am able, I need to keep doing this.”
Dave retired from Dow/Trinseo as a chemical engineer. He and his wife (who is happy to get him out of the house!) have one son who lives in Ohio. What would Dave say to someone who is considering volunteering? “You can do it and you will get more out of it than you put in. I always thought that was so cliché when I heard others say it but it is true! Be open to giving volunteering a try.”
Transportation Drivers use agency vehicles to take older adults to medical appointments within Midland County. Drivers must “be like Dave,” have a good driving record, and a kind and courteous attitude toward our clients. We offer “door to door” service with an arm to lean on! Meals on Wheels are delivered Monday through Friday by kind, caring volunteers just like Dave. They are nutritious, well-balanced, and tasty meals planned and approved by a Registered Dietitian. Both volunteer opportunities have safety guidelines in place to protect our clients and volunteers.
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.
Thank you, Dave, for your conscientious service to the older adults of Midland County, especially during this time, and congratulations on being chosen as Volunteer of the Month!