Citizen of the Week David Kelley gives rides to seniors
October 21, 2008 · Updated 12:14 PM
When North Bend resident David Kelley retired in 1997 from a long career in civil engineering and log trucking, he knew he wanted to find activities that would keep him busy and also help others.
“When a guy retires, you can’t just sit on your thumbs and watch TV, or sit on a porch and rock the rocking chair,” he said.
So he started volunteering at Mount Si Senior Center, driving the elderly to medical appointments and on excursions.
“These people might have children, but they don’t stay here — they might go to Seattle, or LA, or New York, or the four corners of the earth, so a lot of them are here on their own,” he said. “It’s not easy to find drivers that will go to downtown Seattle, but it doesn’t bother me.”
Soon, his wife, Pat, a member of the Red Hat Society social organization for women over 50, recruited him to be the official volunteer driver for the group’s events. They even gave him a red baseball cap to make him feel part of the group.
“I do have a red hat, but it’s a man’s red hat,” he said with a chuckle.
Kelley also picks up surplus food from Safeway and QFC and delivers it the Mount Si Helping Hand Food Bank.
A few years back, Kelley, a eucharistic minister, began providing communion for homebound parishioners of Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church in Snoqualmie, where he was baptized after his birth in 1936.
One of the people he brings communion to is a neighbor, a good friend of his mother. He noticed that though the woman’s daughter put her trash containers by the curb for collection every Tuesday morning, it sometimes took a while for them to return to the house.
“If it’s a windy day, you don’t know where it’s going to end up,” he said. So he started putting the bins back by her house — and doing the same for all his neighbors who aren’t home during the day.
“That’s my Tuesday morning ritual,” and just one of the ways Kelley is helping out his community.
“God has been so good to me, and it feels good to do things for others,” he said.
• Do you know Valley residents who deserve recognition for their good work? Nominate them for Citizen of the Week, an award co-sponsored by the Valley Record and Replicator Graphics. Send your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (425) 888-2311.