Volunteering + Driving = Longevity

By Sharon Smith (Transportation Director)

Do you remember what you were doing on July 30, 1997?  Probably not but Marie remembers quite vividly.  She joined Partners In Care as a volunteer driver and she still Volunteers as a Driver.  I recently had the pleasure of chatting with Marie, talking about Partners In Care and her role in its growth over the past 27 years as a Volunteer.

“A friend referred me to Partners.  I have always been a people person and I am a firm believer that God put us on this earth to help one another. Partners In Care gives me that opportunity to do just that.  Volunteering allows me to stay active and to engage with others.  At the proud age of 90, I feel good when I can take a fellow PIC member to a doctor’s appointment, grocery store, bank, etc.  You read it right.  I am 90 years young, fully capable of driving and serving people in my community,” Marie said

Marie noted that her husband, served in the United States Coast Guard for 25 years.  “As a military wife, I learned early that organization, punctuality and commitment were valuable tools and the combination of those attributes saved my bacon on more than one occasion, said Marie.  A military wife serves too.  Often times she is solely responsible for taking care of everything at home while her spouse is away.  My husband and I raised three children and I am blessed to say they are all thriving and living their lives.”

Each year, Marie drives to Florida for 4-6 weeks, not so much a “snow bird,” but more of a help to her son who operates a boating business in addition to working as a firefighter.  “After my husband retired from the Coast Guard, we transitioned into operating dinner boat cruises (up to 600 passengers) in Florida. We did that for many years.  He passed away years ago but our love of boating passed to my son. I always make sure I call Partners In Care to let them know I am traveling to Florida and won’t be available to drive for a month or so.  I drive to Florida by myself (Easier that way because you don’t have to fight over which radio station to listen to.)  I used to call driving to Florida my “thinking time.”  Now I call it my “praying time.” Road rage is real.  I stay in my lane and pray a lot.”

Dr. King said, “Everybody can be great, because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” Ms. Marie is a loving, caring individual who takes her role of service to others very seriously.  She volunteers with feeding the homeless and makes sure her friend can participates in communion at their church.  Partners In Care is fortunate to have Ms. Marie as a Volunteer driver for the Ride Partners Program.

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