Sheryl Keeme, Executive Director
Social workers are the hardworking people who get things done for us when we need to be connected to help. They can protect the vulnerable and support people, helping folks solve and cope with problems, often treating mental, behavioral, and emotional issues, too. And Bonnie Kosar, Neighbors Who Care’s Care Manager, is a champion “helper” to the Sun Lakes community of seniors. March 16 is National Social Worker Day, and March is Social Worker Month, and we saw it fit to celebrate our Bonnie here where it matters most: her community.
When I came on staff in the fall of 2020, I sat down with Bonnie to learn more about her. I knew her from my work with Sun Lakes Memory Café, as she helps with the support portion of our sessions. I wanted to know more about the person, Bonnie.
Having been on staff for more than 18 years, Bonnie explained to me that she felt born to do this job. She loves helping people remain independent by making sure they are receiving the services they need, either through our volunteer services or by referring them to other agencies or providers. She knows folks personally and by their first names and interacts with them with respect and a kindness that you can feel just by being close to her. Bonnie even has a stash of personal products in her office, and is quick to drop off an item when she knows someone is in need and has no means of getting that need met. Most don’t know about that, because she doesn’t tell anyone she’s doing it. She. Just. Gets. It. Done.
Those who do not volunteer with us or have not become a client often know of Bonnie because of the holiday giving she coordinates with the generous staff and residents of IronOaks and its Christmas tree. Aided by a team of volunteers who help collect, wrap, shop, and transport, Bonnie sees to it that her most vulnerable clients receive personalized holiday sweets, treats, foods, and presents. Neighbors Who Care is tremendously grateful for its volunteers—the selfless individuals who contribute their most valued commodity, time, to helping neighbors. Yet, this March 2021, we recognize Bonnie Kosar who is at the very heart of Neighbors Who Care. She is the first to work with those people seeking our help, working to assess our clients and keep them safe and cared for.
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.