Recently, ITNMontereyCounty had a member sign on who needed the service only for a couple of months while he recovered from open heart surgery. Robert needed us three times a week to get to and from his cardiac rehab appointments. Though this was a temporary thing for him, he was moved by how much it impacted his life.
Deborah, one of our volunteer drivers and board members, runs a produce market through a local church. She picked Robert up one Wednesday and offered to take him there since it was on the way back to his house. That afternoon he called me, elated with his new discovery, and requested that I make sure that every Wednesday, he would get a driver that wouldn't mind taking him back to the market to shop and visit with Deborah.
So, I scheduled him with Bob, one of our shining volunteers. In their short trip after the produce market, Robert and Bob discovered they shared a common interest in restoring old cars. Five minutes later, they were in Roberts garage devising a plan of action for one of his projects. They have since become friends, which works out quite well because their garages are within walking distance of each other.
A couple of weeks ago I received a call from Robert after one of his appointments and he gave me the wonderful news that he had been cleared for driving. Then, he got choked up and said, "This has been such a wonderful service. It relieved me of so much worry... It has filled a hole in my life. I never expected to make a new friend and I plan on taking myself to the produce market every Wednesday from now on."
After the two of us got past our tearing up, Robert asked if he could donate whatever money was left in his Personal Transportation Account back to ITN. So naturally, I teared up again. We have only been in operation since January and it was so touching that our volunteers could make such a big impact in so little time.