When Jeannie’s not training guide dogs, she’s driving Eastside seniors to their medical appointments.
Jeannie is a busy woman. She has teenage grandkids, loves to sew, and spends quite a bit of her time traveling. But her two great loves are training guide dogs, like Webster, and driving with Senior Services’ Volunteer Transportation Program.
Jeannie was shopping for fabric when she noticed a flyer announcing the need for volunteer drivers. She decided that since she couldn’t take her own mother to the doctor, this opportunity would be the perfect fit. Sixteen years later, Jeannie’s still hooked. Once per week, she picks up seniors at their homes, waits with them at their appointments, and then takes them home again.
“The people I meet are so grateful for a ride, and I’ve never had a senior say to a dog on a ride,” Jeannie says. “You really feel like you’re making a difference right then, not sometime down the line. You can see it on their faces.”
Transportation is one of the top problems facing the Eastside’s elderly population. For seniors who no longer drive and have no families or friends to help out, getting to medical appointments can be very difficult. More and more seniors are turning to Volunteer Transportation for help.
Unfortunately, the program doesn’t have enough drivers to meet this demand. This past week, the program had to turn away 45 seniors who called and asked for rides. Volunteer Transportation needs more drivers like Jeannie to help people get to their medical appointments.
Volunteers use their own vehicles and choose the weekdays, times and areas in which they want to drive. No special license is required, and Senior Services provides supplemental liability insurance.