Yolanda likes to get her groove on when she drives for The Center’s care receivers. “I always listen to music in my car,” Yolanda said. “Usually I have K-Love, a local radio station, playing in the car, and a lot of [the care receivers] always comment that they love riding with me because of the music that I play.”
Yolanda, who began volunteering with The Center’s transportation program in 2018 after moving to Wake County from Delaware, says that some of the care receivers she drives regularly like her taste in music. One of those regulars, a care receiver named Shirley, especially enjoys listening to music on rides with Yolanda. “When we get in her truck, she puts on the best music,” Shirley said. “I love music. Yolanda gave me the radio number, so I can keep listening to her music at home.”
Yolanda says her volunteer work has helped her open up to new experiences. “I’m kind of really shy, so it is hard for me to talk to other people,” Yolanda said. “Volunteering kind of gets me out of that a little bit. It also gets me more involved with people that normally I would not be around.” Despite her shyness, Yolanda has a way of cheering up her care receivers. “She always has a smile on her face,” said Shirley. “When she knows I’m kind of down, she makes me happy.”
Yolanda says she has three regular care receivers she helps with rides whenever possible. Yolanda has specific days that she sets aside for volunteering. That way, according to Yolanda, volunteering is fixed into her schedule just like a job would be.
Yolanda is dedicated to her volunteer work for The Center because she knows how important human interaction is for the care receivers. “For some of them, that is the only contact that they really have with other people. And just that little bit of contact is very encouraging and uplifting for them,” Yolanda said.
This is especially true for Pam, another one of Yolanda’s “regulars.” “My life is pretty secluded right now, so I like to live vicariously through other people,” Pam said. “Yolanda makes this possible by bringing me back pictures and post cards from her vacations.” Pam also says that Yolanda goes out of her way to be helpful. Yolanda knows that Pam does volunteer sewing for WakeMed hospital, so she gathered leftover sewing materials to bring to Pam. Pam says that this act of kindness meant a lot to her.
The Center is beyond appreciative to Yolanda and all of our volunteers who go above and beyond and spreading such joy to our care receivers.