Eric Ehst, Executive Director
On July 4, we will celebrate that day 241 years ago when our forebears created a new nation, one that allows us the freedom to live with dignity where we want and how we want. At Neighbors Who Care, our volunteers help over 1500 of their frail, homebound and disabled neighbors celebrate their independence every day. By having friendly, caring volunteers do some of the everyday little things they can no longer do for themselves (drive to the doctor, grocery shop, change a light bulb, deliver a hot meal, etc.), they get to stay in their own home, the place they most want to be.
Our clients are fiercely independent people who, like all of us, value their freedom and want to maintain their dignity by not being confined in a nursing home or in the spare bedroom at a child’s house 2000 miles from their friends and neighbors. They’ve taken care of themselves their entire lives and, with a little help from our volunteers, they can continue to live the lives they love.
Many of us moved to this area to live the active adult retirement lifestyle in the wonderful (most of the year) Arizona climate. Now imagine that, years later, you’re living alone, can no longer drive, medical bills are high, money is tight, family is far away and there are no basic senior services such as Dial-a-Ride or Meals on Wheels. Where can you turn for help?
For 22 years, that lifeline of support has been the friendly, caring folks at Neighbors Who Care. Over those 22 years, our volunteers have donated 350,000 hours of their time, driven over 2,000,000 miles, delivered over 100,000 hot meals and aided their less fortunate neighbors on over 300,000 occasions. Since 2012, we have been providing free meals to clients on occasions when they are facing a choice between paying for food or buying their medications, and since the beginning of 2014, we have been providing extra follow-up and assistance to frail seniors who are sent home from hospitals and medical facilities without adequate family or home support networks to insure proper recovery.
We are justly proud of our record, and the people we serve are very grateful for the generosity and caring shown by their neighbors. On an almost daily basis, we receive notes of thanks from people like Julia, an 89-year-old widow, who uses a walker and subsists on her Social Security payments. Our volunteers take her shopping and to regular dialysis appointments and deliver daily meals, many free when her money runs low.
This year, celebrate Independence Day by helping your neighbors maintain their independence. If you know of someone like Julia, refer her to us for help. If you have a little time to spare, we have a lot of Julia’s already waiting for you. So give us a call at 480-895-7133 (www.neighborswhocare.com).