I volunteer because … I think I can make a difference

Tags: Adult, Awareness/Education, Employees, Orientation and Mobility

Reed Auker is a 12-year plus volunteer driver at VisionCorps. After he retired, he had free time and was looking for a place to volunteer – and chose VisionCorps.

“I thought VisionCorps was a place where I could make a difference helping people who are blind or vision-impaired,” said Reed.

His recent volunteer drive day began when he left home in Ephrata Township and arrived at the VisionCorps Lancaster office in the morning. He was meeting Katarina Eller, an orientation and mobility specialist, to drive her to Lebanon to work with a client. Reed uses a VisionCorps van or car when he drives for the agency. For this trip, Katarina was planning to take instruct her client on taking the bus and how to use public transportation.

“I usually drop Katarina off and then wait in the car,” said Reed. “I bring a magazine or something to read, or I spend time looking at my phone. If there’s a coffee shop nearby, I might visit there.”

Before the pandemic, Reed would help drive clients who are vision-impaired to support groups, but the in-person support groups moved to virtual groups when people could not meet together. Reed’s volunteer work now is based on transporting VisionCorps employees who are not able to drive so they can visit and provide services to clients.

“You learn to be flexible,” said Reed. “We’re not always sure how long an appointment might take.”

Reed said he enjoys his volunteer work.

“I like the idea that I am helping someone with their problems a little bit and perhaps making their day a little bit better,” he said.

Interested in volunteering with VisionCorps? Call 717-205-4141.