It goes without saying that Island Connections volunteers are literally the heart and soul of the organization. Without them the organizations cannot exist. For over 22 years, our volunteers have provided well over 100,000 rides, driven more than 1,000,000 miles and giving of the time in the amount of more than 50,000 hours. This is no small feat and believe me so appreciated by our staff, board members, the neighbors and their family members who are able to take comfort that their loved one is getting to their needed appointments. Time and again, volunteers have answered the call to fill needed rides to any number of destinations for our neighbors. Many of them agree to make a stop or 2 if they have the time to allow the neighbor to pick up some groceries, cash a check at their bank or drop off a package at the post office out of shear added kindness.
Island Connections has been honoring one volunteer every year by presenting them with the David P. Evans Volunteer of the Year Award to the individual that exemplifies the commitment they put forth for our neighbor's transportation needs. This individual joined the Island Connections family of volunteers in January 2017. In her second year as a driver, this amazing volunteer provided 252 1-way rides, equating to 9,497 miles and 280.75 hours of her time. So far this year, she has provided 117 rides for 3,905 miles equating to 117.5 hours of her time. To put this into perspective, I have put just over 11,000 miles on my vehicle in nearly a year for regular use getting to work, a few fun trips and some volunteer driving for Island Connections. She has driven many different neighbors to a variety of medical appointments, trips to the grocery store and Walmart as well as to the bank. She's done many on island trips as well as to Ellsworth, Blue Hill and Brewer/Bangor. I have to laugh because there is a note on her volunteer record in our RideScheduler system that states "would like to start with just a couple of rides per week". Well that has certainly happened. There have been times when this volunteer has done 2 or 3 drives in one day. She also drives neighbors with mobility issues in our wheelchair accessible van. This award is well deserved. Deb, we and our neighbors can never thank you enough!