Doing Things a Little Differently

Volunteer to grocery shop for immunocompromised or homebound neighbors this summer.

Volunteer to grocery shop for immunocompromised or homebound neighbors this summer.

Elizabeth Vaughan

Governor Ducey’s COVID-19 lockdown order kept us isolated in our homes for two months. Fear, restlessness, and boredom made many people anxious to get back to their lives, changed as they now are. Now it’s June, and most of us have gradually emerged to join humanity’s “new normal.” We mourn the people who were lost to coronavirus while rebuilding our lives and our injured economy.

As our schedules get busier, we mustn’t forget what we’ve experienced. Think back to the lockdown. We humans aren’t well equipped to handle the loneliness and tedium of total isolation. In reality, most of Neighbors Who Care’s (NWC) clients live in near-lockdown isolation every single day. When they request services through NWC, their loneliness fades into the background, knowing they’re not alone. Tedium dissipates with feelings of excitement as their service appointment draws near, and they answer the door with a big smile. You can be a lifeline for the vulnerable members of our community. In truth, every NWC volunteer is a first responder and a quiet hero. Volunteers make it possible for us to respond, and we help our clients stay in their homes for as long as possible—on average, five additional years. These clients are mindful of the gift you are giving them every time, and they are extremely grateful.

NWC is committed to delivering the same vital services we’ve provided for the past 25 years. As restrictions are eased, we’ll begin offering van service for shopping, in-home friendly visiting, light household maintenance, business and office assistance, respite care, welfare checks, and our entire menu of client services as well as those we offer to the general public.

There will be slight changes to many of these services due to NWC’s commitment to the safety of our clients, volunteers, and staff over the next few months. Like everyone, NWC is adapting as we learn more about best practices regarding this complex virus from the Maricopa County Health Department and the CDC.

Our community’s response to the coronavirus pandemic has been impressive. Even before the lockdown, people came to NWC with armloads of toilet paper, sanitizer, and other supplies, knowing we could get it to the people who needed it most. Many made small donations using our website or sent checks to help out. For a few weeks, we even experienced a groundswell of volunteer interest—and we quickly moved our orientation classes online to train them and put them to work.

Change often isn’t easy, but it’s happening all around us. This summer, NWC needs your help to fill volunteer positions that were vacated during the pandemic. Please register at to join an upcoming online orientation class. With your help, we can keep our vulnerable neighbors safely at home where they want to be.