RSVP Driver Helps Others – Drives Personal Goal

Doris Deml, a resident of St. Cloud, Minnesota, is an active RSVP volunteer. Doris retired in 2011 after working 9 ½ years as an Assisted Living Administrator. Looking for a meaningful way to get involved, she enrolled with RSVP and volunteers for Tri-Cap as a transportation driver. The Tri Cap Volunteer Transportation Driver program aims to serve the general public, providing services for medical appointments or a variety of other service destinations in rural Benton, Morrison, and Stearns Counties.

Throughout her working career, Doris has always worked with people and says, “When I first retired my dog didn’t talk to me.” So she turned to volunteering as a way to be with people. She says, “I see this as a way to make a difference in peoples’ lives.” Since then, she has volunteered 728 hours. The people she serves may have no other way of getting to their appointments. It’s really important to them and satisfying for Doris. Doris says she drives one elderly lady who was lives in the country and says, “She just tells me over and over again how important this [transportation] is for her.”

Doris feels that human interactions and relationships have been a rewarding aspect of volunteering. She says, “I transported a little boy every Friday for about 14 weeks. Somebody told him he wasn’t smart enough for the first grade and I said, I think you’re really smart. If you weren’t smart, how can you tell me at 6 years old, how many stops signs we had to stop at?” Throughout their trips together, Doris would point out his knowledge. She said, “It was nice to see him laugh and gain self-confidence.” She even made special exception for him. Typically, she doesn’t let people eat in her car, but one day she offered him a bag of chips. He said, “Oh are these [chips] for me? I won’t leave any mess back here,” Doris happily explained that there was never a problem back there!

Doris never imagined the deep connections she would foster through volunteering and the impact it would have on the community. The Greater St. Cloud Area RSVP is proud to support Doris Deml and the 31 other RSVP volunteers that drove 16,811.00 hours for Tri-Cap in 2014.

-Jacquie Willis