Volunteer drivers a growing need in Dubuque, Delaware and Jackso - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Volunteer drivers a growing need in Dubuque, Delaware and Jackson counties

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For years, Rich Symonds lived life in the fast lane--managing high rise buildings in Chicago.

He's now retired, and has come back to Iowa, where he's slowed things down, taking one day a week volunteering to give rides to people who need to get to the doctor's office for a checkup, or to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription.

"When you're going through life, you meet a lot of great people who do great things. You know, people that inspire you, they're very conscious about the community and people, and helping people. It just inspired me to want to do the same thing. When I had the opportunity, I wanted to return some of the favors I've had," Symonds said.

He's one of a fleet of volunteer drivers for the Regional Transit Authority, an organization that helps people in Dubuque, Delaware and Jackson counties get around.  Many of the people they give rides to are elderly or disabled.

His one day behind the wheel every week is helping fill a big need.

"It's huge...it's huge. I mean, people wouldn't be able to get to the doctor otherwise. And that's what we're trying to do...we need to find more folks like Rich," said Tricia Wagner, mobility and outreach coordinator for the RTA.

Rich says it's some of the easiest work he's ever done.

"You've heard before where you get more out of it than you put into it, and that's exactly true. We have more fun talking to people, picking them up and taking them places. And the benefits you get back out, and the enjoyment and the stories are great," he said.

For more information on becoming a volunteer, visit http://rta8.org/.

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