Volunteer Driver Receives Distinguished Honor

Syd Darlington displays his certificate at the Governor's Mansion in Olympia.

The Volunteer Transportation program is incredibly proud of its volunteer driver Syd Darlington, who was recently recognized by Governor Jay Inslee at the 2015 Washington State Governor’s Awards for Volunteerism. Syd and 38 other awardees were selected out of the Washington State’s 1.82 million volunteers and honored at a ceremony at the Governor’s Mansion in Olympia. Recipients ranged in age from 15 to 82. Syd was humbled and inspired by the event.

Syd developed a strong ethic of service after arriving to the United States from the UK in 1981, but he became fully immersed in volunteer work after retiring in late 2007. He admits that he “doesn't like to be still for long” and enjoys keeping busy by serving his community. His volunteer résumé is quite long and includes a wide variety of roles. In addition to driving seniors with Volunteer Transportation, Syd serves the Bellevue Police Department as a Crossroads Community Police Station attendant and general “Jack of all trades” (from record digitizing to event photography); teaches at Unity of Bellevue; and advises and judges with DECA. Syd is clearly a people-person and reports that, like most volunteers, he understands the “warm glow” one receives from helping others. He finds all of his volunteer work to be very rewarding and knows that it keeps his mind active and alert.

Volunteer driving is very near and dear to Syd. When he first signed-up to drive for Volunteer Transportation back in 2008, he admits that he had no idea of how important and needed the service is for its clients. He explains how he has learned the many layers of volunteer driving. He says, “We are more than just drivers. We are caregivers and companions. We serve as social bridges for people who might not otherwise have outside contact with others. Going to appointments is never a fun thing in the first place, and we bring light to the situation.” In addition, Syd feels privileged to have met so many inspiring seniors who are great role models of aging gracefully. He values these relationships.

Congratulations, Syd! You remind us of what volunteering is all about.

You can become a passionate volunteer driver like Syd. More volunteers are needed for Volunteer Transportation throughout King County. Contact Hilary at hilaryc@seniorservices.org or (206)748-7588 to find out more. Apply online here. Serve as a "social bridge" for seniors in need!

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