News From Your Neighbors – Neighbors Who Care, Inc.

It takes all of us

Eric Ehst, Executive Director

You’ve heard the old saying, “No man is an island.” Well no successful charity is either. Neighbors Who Care only continues to exist (and grow) because of the support we receive from a huge number of community organizations and partners. In one recent example of a multi-partner collaboration, the IronOaks Tennis Club held its annual dinner-dance in March. The proceeds were to benefit Neighbors Who Care, but the money ($5,700) was donated to the Cottonwood Palo Verde Foundation which matched an additional $5,000, resulting in $10,700 for Neighbors Who Care.

At Neighbors Who Care, we’re lucky to receive support from a wide variety of clubs, organizations, businesses and congregations throughout our Sun Lakes/South Chandler service area. In recent weeks (apologies to anyone inadvertently omitted), we’ve received checks from the Sun Lakes Women’s Association, SunBird Kare Bears, Springfield Women’s Golf League, Ocotillo Women’s League, Korean War Veterans and a number of the local congregations. We regularly get help from Sun Lakes Rotary and Lions (breakfast and evening) Clubs, businesses such as Sun Lakes Disposal and Intel and a potpourri of small bridge, tennis, golf, sewing, Mahjongg and other clubs. The checks range from $100 to $10,000 and every dollar makes a big difference.

Just as important as our wide base of community support is the fact that every dollar we receive is matched by the time and effort of our dedicated volunteers to deliver about $3 worth of direct services to our homebound and disabled clients for every $1 that’s donated.

Even all of the support we receive from the clubs and organizations and from hundreds of individual small donors and our many volunteers is still not enough to meet the growing needs in our community. We’re setting new records almost every month. In March, we added a record 41 new frail, homebound or disabled clients needing assistance. We delivered a record 847 hot meals. The number of rides to medical appointments is up by more than 40% over three years ago and has almost doubled in 10 years. Recent surveys of our volunteers and clients tell us that even more is needed. That’s why we’re pursuing new initiatives, such as Senior Center Without Walls and falls prevention training, and why we’re entering new partnerships like the Sun Lakes Creative Engagement Partners.

One big thing I’ve learned from the clients we serve is how important Neighbors Who Care is in their lives. Most people think of us as simply driving people around or delivering meals or visiting and calling. Those are mundane descriptions of what we do, not of the impact we have. I recently reviewed the records of a client we have been serving for 21 years. She is disabled and lives alone. Without our help, she would have been forced to move out of her home and into an institution years ago. What our volunteers do keeps her healthy, happy and independent. That is our impact. Please join us, 480-895-7133.