GREENFIELD — LifePath announced that Marvin “Marv” Kelley, Rides for Health volunteer and citizens advisory board member, has been recognized by AARP as a nominee for the AARP 2023 Andrus Award for Community Service.
The Rides for Health Program launched in 2015, with Kelley as one of the original volunteers. The program trains volunteers to provide escorted transportation for medical appointments to older adults who otherwise would struggle to get to their appointments. Each volunteer is matched with one or more clients, and the pairs work out their own appointment details.
According to Program Director Trevor Boeding, Kelley began with two trips the first month, and since then he has helped 39 individuals get to medical appointments (wound care, podiatry, cancer care, ophthalmology, counseling, physical therapy, vaccination, dentistry, prescriptions, smoking cessation, and a clinical trial), totaling more than 334 round trips that equal 12,168 miles. Currently, he serves 10 clients and is requesting more.
“Marv is always ready to help and enjoys driving longer distances with his clients to Boston, Gardner, and Springfield from our home area of Franklin County and the North Quabbin. He is also invested in the program itself, sometimes making and implementing suggestions for improvement,” Boeding said.
Kelley also serves as chair of LifePath’s citizens advisory board, a group that provides direction and guidance for LifePath’s program work and allocation of federal Older Americans Act funds.
“Marv demonstrates a level of commitment to helping meet the needs of the area’s older adults that is certainly worthy of recognition,” said Lynne Feldman, director of Community Services for LifePath. “The dedication of our volunteers like Marv is humbling and inspiring to see. We thank AARP for its work to highlight the contributions made by volunteers.”
The Andrus Award is AARP’s most prestigious state volunteer award for community service. According to AARP in a letter to Kelley, “your nomination for the award is a clear recognition of your remarkable service. It also reflects the impact that you have had on the lives of others and in your community.”
To learn more about becoming a Rides for Health volunteer, visit lifepathma.org and select ‘Support Our Mission.’