A Change of Season

Elizabeth Vaughan, Neighbors Who Care

Living in Arizona is not for everyone. It takes a special kind of grit to get through the summer months, and the last lingering weeks of 110-plus days are particularly grueling. For those who make it through, patience is rewarded with a morning like this morning.

Every year, I look forward to “the day,” and today is it. It’s that day when you realize summer is over. The water from the hose is below the boiling point, and there’s a crispness to the air that cannot be manufactured. It’s our version of leaves turning orange, signaling a welcome change of season. As I write this, it is Sept. 9, 2020. Today is “the day” this year, and it is a welcome sight.

If this were a “normal” year at Neighbors Who Care (NWC), we’d be planning our annual fall fair right now. The planning committee would be assigning 100 vendor booths, scheduling live entertainment, recruiting judges for our baking contest, and renting a dunk tank for the occasion. For seven years, NWC’s fall fair has brought neighbors together like a big family reunion, and it’s sad to have to cancel this year’s celebration. We will miss seeing all of you.

Thinking ahead, it’s hard to imagine the upcoming holiday season. What will it look like in 2020? The Macy’s Thanksgiving parade with no spectators? Christmas caroling via Zoom? Holiday concerts, church services, and other traditional gatherings will look very different, no doubt. It wouldn’t bother me if “Black Friday” occurs without injury this year, though. People tend to be unkind in pursuit of retail bargains.

But kindness emerges in other places, thankfully. NWC will gather donated gifts to distribute to our grateful clients, and every year, you donate more gifts than the last. If you elect to skip the holiday parties this year, consider spending a few hours volunteering with Neighbors Who Care instead. It’s a sure-fire way to get yourself into the holiday spirit and brightens the day of homebound seniors in more ways than you can imagine.

Learn more about volunteering at neighborswhocare.com or call our office at 480-895-7133 to register for our next orientation class. We hold bi-weekly orientation classes using Zoom meetings online and will offer small, safe, in-person orientation classes in our Sun Lakes office if there’s enough demand. We make it easy to get into the spirit of the season through volunteering. Many NWC clients live alone and are following social distancing recommendations by staying in their homes. You can be their lifeline and a blessing during the upcoming holiday season. We guarantee that you’ll feel the warmth that comes from helping another human being as well. The spirit of giving can help all of us as we navigate a different kind of holiday season this year.

Join us, and welcome home, summer travelers! It’s good to have you home.

Welcome back, summer travelers. We’re glad to have you here at home.