Bill Miller, a volunteer driver with Drive a Senior West Austin, has been named one of nine “RecognizeGood” Legends for 2016. RecognizeGood is a local nonprofit that highlights ordinary individuals who inspire their community by going to extraordinary lengths in service to others. Nominees are voted on by past Legends, with each new Legend receiving a $1,000 donation to the non-profit of his or her choice. Each Legend is also entered in the annual “Say Thanks, Austin” campaign, where community members can cast thank-you votes for their favorite selfless servant. The Legend with the most votes receives a $10,000 donation to that favorite non-profit.
The Say Thanks campaign runs from January 5-30 and voters may vote online, by email, via text message, on social media or with a paper ballot. Anyone may vote once per day, using each voting method, so a truly committed voter could tally 156 votes single-handedly. The voting methods are:
Bill, who retired from the U.S. Air Force, has been driving for Drive a Senior – West Austin since 2007. He has chauffeured 760 trips with senior riders who need a lift because they want to continue living at home but no longer drive themselves. He makes those trips – to doctor’s appointments, grocery stores, pharmacies – about four times a week, sometime more than once a day. All told he’s logged more than 17,000 miles for Drive a Senior. Besides his driving duties. “On top of that,” says West Austin Drive A Senior Executive Director Martha Stuber, “Bill is always the first to volunteer to do the minor home repair and yard work that our clients often need.” Once a week he drives veterans to the VA Hospital in Temple.
Bill is an inspiring example of the kind of folks that serve their senior neighbors through Drive a Senior’s volunteer network. Together they provided more than 35,000 rides in 2016 for more than 2,500 active senior passengers. The network expects the need to expand in the years to come and is seeking to add at least 300 new volunteer drivers in 2017.