Melfort handi-van driver makes her mark as Hometown Hero
SASKATOON -- A handi-van driver in Melfort has made her mark as a CTV Hometown Hero, dedicating her time to driving seniors and people with disabilities.
Linda Sochaski starts at 8 a.m., picking up and dropping off up to 20 people a day.
"I'm their friend. Lots of them don't have friends or family here, so they need a friend. They need someone to talk to,” she said.
Before this, Sochaski worked at a long-term care facility for years.
She said she retired but couldn’t sit still, so five years ago, Sochaski became a bus driver.
She takes her clients to school, doctor’s appointments, programs and even the mall.
Sochaski said her favourite part of the job is the people.
"We laugh, we cry, they're like my friends on the van. We're all friends, I know their life histories. I know everything about them. We talk from the time they got on until they get off,” she said.
Jean Payne has been riding with Sochaski for the last four years. Sochaski makes a huge difference in her life, as she doesn’t have any family in town, she said.
"I think it's just wonderful that she's there. A lot of us wouldn't know what to do. She's there to take you wherever you want and I depend on her,” Payne said.
Sochaski said she knows her clients are thankful.
"They're so thankful for what we do. We hear it every day, you know, 'thank you for picking me up,' 'thank you for doing this,' 'I'm so glad we have this service.' So, it means a lot when they say that,” she said.
Sochaski said she doesn’t consider herself a Hometown Hero.
She said it’s important to her to be good at her job and that’s what she strives to do every time she gets on the bus.