Neighbors Who Care Offers Free Winter Speaker Series: Community Education Offered Virtually
Sheryl L. Keeme
Neighbors Who Care announces a complimentary Winter Speaker Series beginning Thursday, Feb. 18 at noon, featuring our community partners. To register, visit neighborswhocare.com, Eventbrite.com, or call Neighbors Who Care at 480-895-7133.
Neighbors Who Care Winter Speakers Series
* Feb. 18: Will or Trust? What’s right for you? by Attorney Francisco Sirvent, Keystone Law Firm
* Feb. 25: Create Your Plan B by Elaine Poker-Yount, Visiting Angels
* March 4: What is Memory Cafe and is it Right For Us? by Judy Banyai, caregiver, and Wayne Mangold, Sun Lakes Memory Cafe Founder
* March 11: The Power of Respite Care for Caregivers and Care-Receivers by Rose Saunders, The Perfect Place Executive Director
Neighbors Who Care is bringing these topics and esteemed speakers to the community, free of charge. Each session will be offered from 12 to 1 p.m. on Thursdays for four weeks, and each also will be recorded and posted on our Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/volunteerchandler.
“Neighbors Who Care always wants to be a good neighbor, and in these times, we’re limited. That’s why we are working with a few community partners to share useful, vital information,” Keeme said. “There is not much we can do about changing the current situation, but we can make good use of down time to prepare, learn, and make possible adjustments.
About the organization: Neighbors Who Care is a nonprofit organization founded in 1994. Its mission is to assist the homebound, disabled, and/or frail elderly in the communities of Sun Lakes and south Chandler, which have the third highest population of elderly adults statewide, but lack sufficient wraparound human services programs to address the population’s needs, according to the 2010 U.S. Census. Its operational goal is to recruit, train, and manage community volunteers to provide quality non-medical assistive services to enrolled clients via a “neighbor helping neighbor” approach, which has helped our clients, on average, remain in their homes for an additional four years. Visit www.neighborswhocare.com for more information.
NWC: A Sun Lakes Treasure
For the last 25 years, Neighbors Who Care has been a Sun Lakes treasure. Volunteers have supported aging homebound folks with no other way to get to their physician appointments or shop for groceries and medication. Volunteers have offered rides, respite care, meals, small home repairs, and more. Neighbors Who Care has consistently matched approved clients with those volunteers standing ready and able to help.
And then came COVID-19.
Since March, Neighbors Who Care (NWC) friends have had to rethink their volunteer experiences because of their own health concerns. Many have had to change their volunteer status to inactive. And as volunteer numbers dropped, NWC also limited the services offerings to match its shrinking corps. There were no more nail appointments or hair appointments. The attention turned to helping neighbors stay healthy and stocked with essentials, leaving other trips for safer times.
Neighbors Who Care has continued to follow CDC protocols and, similarly, has instructed volunteers and clients to do the same. Whenever possible, volunteer/client events are contactless, masked, and socially-distanced. Staff and volunteers found a way to see that meals continue to be delivered, essential medical appointments are met, and the vital NWC support group has continued its support through Zoom meetings.
Despite a difficult time of increased isolation, NWC clients’ gratitude for the help they have received pours from them in phone calls and thank you notes. Imagine being unsure of how you will get your critical medication or prescription from the doctor. Consider how unnerving it is to be caring for a partner whom you cannot leave alone yet are unable to manage alone for your own doctor visit. As the pandemic shifts into its next phase of vaccines for folks older than age 65, Neighbors Who Care Executive Director, Sheryl Keeme, expects client needs to grow. Many Americans have delayed medical appointments during the pandemic and it is likely true of clients as well. With this expectation in mind, Keeme is hunting for more friendly volunteers.
“We offer a brief virtual orientation to help people new to volunteering feel comfortable,” says Keeme.
Those who become volunteers also have the flexibility to choose what kind of volunteering they want to do between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. And, a self-serve portal with volunteer needs is updated daily and extends flexibility for browsing events and choosing independently.
Neighbors Who Care Board Member and Volunteer Kim Kubsch praises the portal. “As a busy business owner, I like being able to pick the days and times that work for my schedule,” Kim says.
If you have a one or two-hour window in your week to help a neighbor, why not join Neighbors Who Care as a volunteer? You can call during business hours at 480-895-7133, send an email to [email protected], or visit www.neighborswhocare.com/volunteer to register. Follow us on Facebook too at www.facebook.com/volunteerchandler.