News from Your Neighbors: Neighbors Who Care – January 2024

NWC volunteer Tom Jones (photo by Jennifer Gustafson)

NWC Volunteer Tom Jones Brings Expertise and Warmth as a Volunteer

Neighbors Who Care (NWC) volunteer Tom Jones clearly demonstrates the heart of selfless service. He came to us this past August because he was looking for a way to fill his time since retiring. “I needed to fill a void,” Tom says. “Volunteering with Neighbors Who Care seemed like the perfect opportunity to do something a couple of days a week—to get out of the house and help others in my community.”

In the few months that he has been a volunteer, Tom has jumped right in as a transportation driver, as well as taking on minor repair services.

“I am so glad to be serving the people in our community, and volunteering with Neighbors Who Care is convenient for me, since it’s so close to home. I like being able to serve neighbors who live nearby, and the fact that I can do this locally gives me more time to serve, since I don’t have to drive very far,” he says.

Tom described a recent experience he had with a married couple who needed help changing smoke detector batteries in their home. “They were so happy that I was there to take care of this for them,” Tom explains.

Another way that Tom serves NWC is by helping with our office computer systems. As an experienced “IT guy,” Tom is an expert in the Information Technology field and comes into the office twice a week to work on projects. In the short time he has been with us, he has already been able to identify needed areas and integrate updates and upgrades to help make our operation more efficient.

“My dad always set a great example. When I moved here from Texas to help him in his last years, I started doing these kinds of things for him—helping to fix things around the house, like I saw him do when I was growing up,” he says. “After he passed, I started helping some of my neighbors on my street, and I thought, well, if I can do it for them … It’s how I made my way to Neighbors Who Care.”

Tom’s advice to new volunteers is to take initiative and don’t wait to get started or for a scheduler to call you. “The needs are there, and it’s so easy to get assignments, either by calling the office or by self-scheduling using the online portal,” he explains. “There are plenty of opportunities out there that will work perfectly with your schedule and how far you want to drive. You can pick and choose what works best for you.”

We are so grateful that Tom Jones stepped in to fill needs for our clients and in our office. He has made such a difference in just the short time he has been a volunteer. Thank you, Tom, for all you do!

If Tom’s story has inspired you to volunteer, please contact our office at 480-895-7133. We look forward to hearing from you!

IronOaks Racquet Club Plans Event to Benefit Neighbors Who Care

Planning is underway for Play It Forward, the third annual tennis/pickleball event to benefit Neighbors Who Care, on Saturday, April 6.

All area communities are encouraged to join, including Sun Lakes Country Club, Cottonwood Palo Verde, IronOaks, Robson Reserve, Solera, Springfield, and SunBird.

The event will offer both gender and mixed play at $20 per person. The group is requesting that those who cannot play consider making a donation to the tournament on behalf of Neighbors Who Care. Arizona residents can make a donation on behalf of Play It Forward to satisfy the Arizona Tax Credit. In 2023 Play It Forward raised $22,200. The goal is set for $25,000 in 2024.

All matches will begin at 8 a.m. and will last for 50 minutes.

For more information about tennis and signing up, contact Lois Newman at 480-277-5510 or email [email protected]. For more information about pickleball and signing up, contact JoAnn Zapatka at 480-710-4305 or email [email protected].

Forms will be available to sign up at the various clubs.

Sponsors are being sought until they fill up. If your company is interested in having a banner at the site or in placing an item in the goodie bags, contact Sheryl Keeme at [email protected]. All proceeds benefit Neighbors Who Care’s 13 programs helping homebound seniors.


Neighbors Who Care and Realtors Who Care Partner for Holiday Meal

Have you ever heard the expression, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch”? Well, for our clients, that saying doesn’t apply, thanks to the generosity of Realtors Who Care, a group of realtors serving the Sun Lakes community. Neighbors Who Care’s most isolated clients enjoyed a delightful experience without any hidden costs or strings attached on Dec. 7. The event was not only free for our clients, thanks to Realtors Who Care, but it was also brimming with holiday cheer.

This year’s Neighbors Who Care and Realtors Who Care Holiday Luncheon for clients was a resounding success. Held at the Palo Verde dining room, all were treated to a delectable meal served by an outstanding waitstaff. Following the meal, attendees were delighted with Bundtinis from Nothing Bundt Cakes, adding an extra layer of sweetness to the day for our clients. Each participating realtor contributes their own funds to support this second annual holiday event.

Beyond the food and gifts that made the day special, there was a deeper significance. Were you aware that numerous elderly individuals experience feelings of depression or loneliness, particularly during the holiday season? Engaging in social activities with others not only has the power to uplift spirits, but also holds the potential to safeguard cognitive abilities, potentially even slowing the onset of early signs of conditions such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

Neighbors Who Care is grateful to fill this need by offering periodic client luncheons as a joint partnership with Realtors Who Care.