Northwest Regional Transportation Coordination Council
Why Become a Volunteer Driver?
Volunteer Transportation drivers are some of the first touch points within our community. Drivers use their own vehicles to transport community members with limited transportation options to essential medical, dental, or other appointments or services. As a volunteer driver, you will be able to:
Choose the times, days, and areas you wish to drive
Engage directly with people in your community and the surrounding area
Mileage reimbursement rates vary by agency
Top 5 Reasons to Volunteer
#1: It’s good for you.
Volunteering helps you stay physically healthy. Studies have found that those who volunteer have a lower mortality rate than those who do not. Older volunteers tend to walk more, find it easier to cope with everyday tasks, are less likely to develop high blood pressure, and have better thinking skills. Volunteering can also lessen symptoms of chronic pain and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Volunteering helps counteract the effects of stress, anger, and anxiety. The social contact aspect of helping and working with others can have a profound effect on your overall psychological well-being. Nothing relieves stress better than a meaningful connection to another person.
Volunteering combats depression. Volunteering keeps you in regular contact with others and helps you develop a solid support system, which in turn protects you against depression and social isolation.
Volunteering makes you happy. By measuring hormones and brain activity, researchers have discovered that being helpful to others delivers immense pleasure. Human beings are hard-wired to give to others. The more we give, the happier we feel.
Volunteering increases self-confidence. You are doing good for others and the community, which provides a natural sense of accomplishment. Your role as a volunteer can also give you a sense of pride and identity. And the better you feel about yourself, the more likely you are to have a positive view of your life and future goals.
Volunteering provides a sense of purpose. Older adults, especially those who have retired or lost a spouse, can find new meaning and direction in their lives by helping others. Whatever your age or life situation, volunteering can help take your mind off your own worries, keep you mentally stimulated, and add more zest to your life.
#2: It saves resources.
Volunteering provides valuable community services so more money can be spent on local improvements. The estimated value of a volunteer’s time is $28.54 per hour.
#3: Volunteers gain professional experience.
If you’re considering a new career, volunteering can help you get experience in your area of interest and meet people in the field. Even if you’re not planning on changing careers, volunteering gives you the opportunity to practice important skills used in the workplace, such as teamwork, communication, problem solving, project planning, task management, and organization. You might feel more comfortable stretching your wings at work once you’ve honed these skills in a volunteer position first. Volunteering can also help you build upon skills you already have and use them to benefit the greater community.
#4: It brings people together and strengthens your community.
One of the more well-known benefits of volunteering is the impact on the community. Volunteering allows you to connect to your community and make it a better place. Even helping with the smallest tasks can make a real difference to the lives of people, animals, and organizations in need. Volunteering is a two-way street: It can benefit you as much as the cause you choose to help.
#5: You give back and make a difference.
A benefit of a volunteer driver is knowing you are doing a service to help someone in need. It also gives you the opportunity to interact with the person and may find out if other needs in their life. Volunteer driving is a rewarding experience for both the driver and the person needing the ride.