Volunteering since he retired in 2009 from the Bureau of Reclamation, Steve has had several volunteer gigs. He first volunteered with The Red Cross working in disaster recovery. He transitioned out of this position because of the many ‘middle of the night calls’. He moved to dispatch for a short time and found his perfect match when he started driving for Red Cross. Steve followed Richard, current SRC Dispatcher and Scheduler, and many other Red Cross drivers who moved to SRC when we took over transportation from The Red Cross.
Steve really enjoys driving. He has been driving as a volunteer for eight years, including four with SRC. He picks up an SRC Subaru Forester each Tuesday and Friday and begins his journey to help older adults make it to their destinations. Steve always shares his route with the client and will take the route they prefer if they have another suggestion. He finds this is comforting for the client and he learns from their knowledge of the area.
The new computer tablet has been a great tool for drivers. Using the new tablet has been a real plus for Steve, now that he is comfortable with it. He feels it helps him be much more efficient, and finds it has greatly reduced no shows, because clients are always called the day before the ride.
Steve drives all over the city for SRC, and loves the challenge of finding locations and the best routes. A typical day starts at SRC Wheat Ridge, and he may end his day with a last trip in Aurora or Littleton, typically making 5-8 trips a day. He shared that the new Veteran’s Hospital is phenomenal and he enjoys taking Vets to this location.
When asked what advice he would share with new volunteers,Steve said that one of his habits is “making sure he shows up early and letting his clients know he is there.” He adds, “Most are anxious to go and are on time, but clients who are a little slower find that him being there early, gives them peace of mind.” He also loves to get people talking, as they all have a story to tell with many being from other parts of the country with interesting backgrounds. They are often lonely. Steve has learned that being patient is critical and especially when escorting dementia patients who may repeat their stories.
Steve’s wife is a retired nurse from Children’s Hospital. When they both were working she would tell her stories at the dinner table. Now he shares his experiences about his time spent driving older adults.
His ability to relate to older adults is a big reason why he enjoys driving for them. He feels strongly that the program is enhanced because they work with Richard who has outstanding organization, listening, and communication skills. Steve also enjoys the opportunity to talk with and meet other drivers at the volunteer driver breakfasts.
We at SRC appreciate Steve for his many years of volunteering with SRC.