Rob Dubinski was hired in January as volunteer coordinator at The Mustard Seed Project, the latest sign of an elder-friendly community becoming a reality on the Key Peninsula.
Dubinski noted the strength of the volunteer base on the KP, saying, “I have great admiration for volunteers because they give the most valuable thing that any one of us has—their time.”
The two divisions that Dubinski oversees are the Community Volunteer Network (CVN) and the Key Senior Information Center (KSIC), and he will also be coordinating an Alzheimer’s support group. His job is to match the best volunteer with the needs of the person requesting assistance. In 2016, over 800 individuals took advantage of services offered by TMSP volunteers. A total of 4,296 acts of service were performed, or approximately 83 per week. About one-third of the services (1,546 rides) were provided by volunteer drivers.
The CVN provides in-home help for minor maintenance and repairs, such as yard work and installation of grab bars and handrails. In addition to undergoing background checks and general TMSP orientation, volunteers who make home visits receive training to recognize physical and mental issues that may affect people who are homebound.
The KSIC has four dedicated volunteers who maintain a list of service providers and can make referrals for professional services depending upon the type of assistance needed—legal or financial, plumbing or electrical—and to a variety of health specialists.
In 2016, 288 Key Peninsula residents took advantage of CVN and volunteers engaged in 951 acts of service.
Dubinski credits his parents, both teachers, with instilling the drive to make an active contribution to his community. He has volunteered as a camp counselor and at a food bank, and has worked on six different Habitat for Humanity projects. After graduation from Indiana University, he worked for a youth counseling organization until an internship on a California dairy farm drew him to the West Coast.
After completing the California internship, Dubinski traveled up the coast to Seattle, where he took a job with Guadalupe House, a homeless shelter. He later transferred to Guadalupe House in Tacoma. He was offered the opportunity by chance to apply the skills gained through his work with Habitat for Humanity to the task of restoring the Key Peninsula cabin that Bill and Dory Meyer bequeathed to Catholic Community Services. He is currently the caretaker of the property and is living in the restored cabin.
For more information, go to www.themustardseedproject.org or call 884-9814.