If you believe the saying ‘Life is a highway”, then Ken L. would be one of its happy chauffeurs.
When considering how he could do some volunteer work, Ken saw an ad that the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre needed drivers to take clients to and from appointments and, since he already enjoyed driving, he thought the position was right up his alley.
He’s been providing this valuable service at least once a week since January 1993, and has helped clients for whom it may be physically impossible get to where they need to go, as well as support those whose issues such as a fear of crowds have prevented them from traveling by bus.
In other cases, it’s simply a matter that mental illness and poverty often go hand-in-hand, and some people simply can’t afford transportation to access the treatment they need.
For Ken, volunteering is an opportunity to give back what’s he’s received himself.
“I feel I’ve had every good break in life imaginable,” he says. “By volunteering to help others who haven’t had it as good as me, I feel I’m sharing my good fortune with those who need a hand. It makes me feel like I’m not just taking my life for granted.”
We are fortunate indeed that for more than a decade, Ken has been willing to donate his time, driving skills and generous spirit to clients of the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre.
Perhaps Ken himself sums it up best: “Being — even in a small way — a part of a process that helps improve the lives of others is probably the best thing we can do with our lives.”