Answering the Call to Volunteer
Published On April 16th 2018
Sandy Strowbridge was thinking about how he could give back to his community, and the idea of driving people to their medical appointments kept popping up. He wasn’t sure how to get started, but after a conversation with a friend he was directed to the Seniors Department at Abbotsford Community Services. The way it all came together seemed like divine intervention to Sandy, and in retirement he has found a new calling as a medical transportation driver.
In the past 10 years, Sandy has driven over 100 people to hundreds of medical appointments in the Lower Mainland. He puts thought into what people need, and feels responsible for them from the time he picks them up until he drops them back home.
The growing demand amongst older adults in Abbotsford for safe and reliable transportation to medical appointments gives Sandy a sense of purpose and feeds his desire to help the community. “Feedback about the service is just phenomenal,” he says.
According to program coordinator Amy Stiles, Sandy goes “above and beyond” to help patients, and it shows. Some clients request him as their driver specifically and prefer to schedule medical appointments at times when he’s available. While he typically takes patients to a few short appointments a month, a recent trip was spread over 18 hours from the time he collected the person for their medical procedure until the time he brought them safely back home.
Sandy is modest about the difference he makes in the lives of those he transports. However, he’s quick to encourage people to volunteer as medical transportation drivers. “Go for it, get in there!” says Sandy, “I’ve made genuine friendships for life through this program.”
This National Volunteer Week, we thank Sandy for his commitment to helping those who require medical transportation services. With the help of him and our other outstanding drivers, we can continue to build a better Abbotsford.
Now in his early 70s, Sandy is aware that one day he may be the person in the passenger seat. As our population ages, the demand for reliable and empathetic medical transportation drivers in our community is increasing. If you’re interested in helping out, please contact our Medical Transportation Coordinator, Amy Stiles, at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 604.866.5147.