Kelly Lake has been a volunteer driver for Sound Generations’ Volunteer Transportation program since 2018.
“I moved to Washington from Northern California, where my family lives. My dad had developed dementia, and because my sister still lived in California where he is, a lot of his caretaking fell to her. She often had to drive him to medical appointments and getting him was a challenge because she had to go well out of her way to pick him up and had to take time away from work to do so. I started looking into ride programs in California and learning about those, to see if there was help available to support my sister in alleviating some of the burden of caring for my dad.”
Kelly wondered if there was some way she could help others in Washington facing a similar situation. If she couldn’t be there to help her sister in caring for their dad, maybe she could help those in Washington who needed a ride. That’s how she found Volunteer Transportation.
“I love to drive, I love meet people, and I was in a position where I had the time to volunteer.”
After being a volunteer driver for over a year, Kelly was assigned a ride that hit very close to home when the contact person for the ride turned out to be the daughter of the participant, and it was the first time her dad would be using the service.
“She was cautious and nervous about the safety of her dad. I called and we talked a little bit, and it turned out she was in the same situation as my sister had been in with my own dad. I was able to reassure her because of my own experience. That was a direct connection between my own story and the program, and the impact it has on other people.”
Kelly is highly regarded among the Volunteer Transportation staff for her commitment to helping support the service and the aging community. She loves the flexibility of being able to set her own volunteer hours, and to decide what parts of the city and surrounding areas she feels most familiar and comfortable driving in.
“Hearing the stories from the senior participants is was keeps me motivated to continue volunteering. They are always so grateful and humbled to have this service. It is a joyful opportunity that I feel privileged to do.”
Sound Generations offers many opportunities to volunteer across our pillars of service and support positive aging in communities across King County.