by Tina Podboy Laughner, Volunteer & Outreach Manager
It’s Terry Jackson, the Great and Powerful, Senior Services’ very own Super Hero and our Volunteer of the Month for September! When the quarantine started in mid-March and we reduced many of our services, we were only transporting a few dialysis clients. Terry offered to take over all of those clients,“I can drive every day – it’s only going to last a couple of weeks.” Little did he know he’d still be the only active volunteer driver three months later, when we called back other volunteers as we opened up transportation for other urgent medical appointments. Trish Brown, Transportation Manager says, “He offered to stay on and continue to transport seniors without hesitation. He never said no to any requests asked of him, and has always had great communication with clients.” Even after losing his trailer on Sanford Lake in the flood, he still stuck with his weekly volunteering schedule.
Terry has been driving for Senior Services Transportation Department since January of 2015 at least two or three days a week. He and his wife have three children and 4 grandchildren. Terry retired from General Motors at age 51, and worked other jobs after that, but by January 2015 he was bored and came to us. Why did he continue to volunteer during the quarantine, even putting himself at risk? “These people need help,” he said. “If it weren’t for us, they couldn’t get to dialysis and medical appointments. The bottom line is I enjoy doing it. The hardest part is you lose them.“
Senior Services Transportation Drivers use our vehicles (cars and wheelchair accessible vans) and currently only drive clients to and from medical appointments, Monday through Friday. To avoid unnecessary contact now, drivers usually take one full day a week. Senior Services has a whole protocol in place to avoid contact and keep both clients and volunteers safe. Our big need is for people who can drive the accessible vans, maneuvering and strapping down wheelchairs. It is very rewarding – our clients are very appreciative of the service.
Thank you, Terry, so much for your continued service 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.