Eric Ehst, Executive Director
To all who’ve been away this summer – we missed you! Summer is always tough at NWC. About 40 percent of our volunteers leave for cooler climes; staff members want to take a much-needed vacation; donations drop off; and it’s just plain hot. This year we’ve also dealt with mini-tornados and power outages. Unfortunately, most of the homebound people we help are unable to leave town and must still rely on our services. Our summer volunteers are overworked and, rarely, we have to tell a client that we don’t have anyone to get their groceries or take them to a doctor’s appointment. It’s times like this that make us really appreciate all that you do to help your neighbors and the community. So we are really glad you’re back.
Be sure to attend our gala Welcome Back Community Fair on Saturday, October 25 from 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. at the Neighbors Who Care office. Bring your friends and family. Last year over 400 attendees had a great time.
The need for Neighbors Who Care and its services is still growing. The population is aging; over one third of our clients are now over 85 and the oldest is a spry 102. In the last year we added 309 new clients (up from 280 the year before) who would not be able to continue living in their homes without your help. Dinner deliveries set a record with 8267 in the last year, including 221 free meals donated to people who sometimes cannot afford to pay. Our new program to aid people being discharged from hospitals and other medical facilities, when they are at their most vulnerable, is receiving rave reviews. Not one of the 24 clients put in the program during the first six months had to be readmitted to the hospital.
Our success is not going unnoticed. Over the past several years NWC has won a string of awards and prizes. This summer we received a Desert Peaks Award for successful public-private partnerships from the Maricopa Association of Governments and one of only 10 national STAR Awards for outstanding volunteer transportation systems. We are also embarking on a partnership with Phoenix Fibers to sponsor a textile recycling program, where clothes and shoes can be recycled with the proceeds going to NWC. Look for the Neighbors Who Care recycling bins coming to various locations in Sun Lakes and Chandler.
We can’t do any of this without you: our volunteers, donors, friends, and supporters. You are the Neighbors Who Care.
With all that’s going on we still need more volunteers. As always, if you know of someone who needs our help or if you would like to experience the deep personal satisfaction that comes from volunteering to assist your neighbors, contact us at 480-895-7133; www.neighborswhocare.com).