Creating an age-friendly community

Eric Ehst, Executive Director

On June 25 Neighbors Who Care received the 2014 Desert Peaks Award for Public-Private Partnerships from the Maricopa Association of Governments. We, along with our partners in the Greater Phoenix Age-Friendly Network, were honored for our nationally recognized work in creating networks that meet the changing needs of an aging population and better connect older adults with people of all ages in their communities. Our partnership has created a series of pilot programs across the valley and a new website ( to provide comprehensive information to older adults concerning resources available to them and to study innovative ways of connecting people with the services they need.

Although the south Chandler/Sun Lakes area served by Neighbors Who Care is not one of the official pilot project sites, we have long been an innovator in providing care and services to the local community. Our track record has been rewarded by the many awards and accolades we have won, including the Encore Prize (2012), 12 Who Cares Award (2013), and STAR Award (2014). We are at the center of a massive informal network of community organizations, congregations, businesses, and individuals who work together to improve the lives of the members of our community. In 2012 we launched the ‘Friends of Neighbors Who Care’ to recognize all of the people, organizations, and businesses who stand with us in this mission. Early this year we initiated a partnership with local hospitals and volunteer organizations in neighboring communities to aid the recovery of people released from medical facilities.

Over the next year we plan to expand on these efforts through outreach to local medical offices and businesses of all kinds. Our goal is to work together to more effectively and efficiently deliver vital services, identify overlooked community members who need our help, and expand the resources and services available to fill unmet needs. If you, your organization, or your business would like to participate in this effort, please contact us.

Our plea last month for help to fill our summer volunteer shortage has resulted in 21 new volunteers signed up for orientation. Thank you. But, we still need more help. Our volunteers all say that they get more joy and personal satisfaction from helping the grateful seniors than they give in their time. If you have an hour or two each week, or even each month, we really need your help. There’s no minimum time commitment, no required schedule, and a wide variety of jobs to fill.

Neighbors Who Care is on a mission to insure that every resident of south Chandler and Sun Lakes is able to live in their own home for as long as feasible with pride, dignity and independence. Working together with our business and community partners we want to make this one of the best places in the world for people of all ages to live. To help, please call us at 480-895-7133 or visit our new improved website at