Newsletter - September 4, 2020
Creating a caring community for older adults in need
VVCC helping neighbors shelter in place

Verde Valley Caregivers staff and volunteers are going the extra mile to accommodate neighbors sheltering in place

Very often VVCC neighbors are food insecure. Prior to the pandemic, neighbors were transported to local food banks. Now VVCC Van Driver, Pam Price, picks up food boxes and delivers them twice a week to neighbors. This service is a godsend to those without the resources to shop for themselves. One neighbor, Alta, phoned VVCC's Call Center after a delivery to say, “I couldn’t believe it. Pam delivered the King’s table to me” and added, “I just want to thank you so much for all that you do for me. You are all so wonderful!”

During this time, isolation has been especially hard for some of our neighbors, many of whom, no longer have family nearby. Joan, a VVCC neighbor who lives in an assisted living facility, nearly died of COVID-19. In isolation with nobody allowed to see her other than the medical staff and no relatives or close friends to support her, VVCC Call Center Specialist Lynn Edwards, thought Joan could benefit from hearing a friendly voice on the phone. Lynn called her at the hospital every couple of days. Sometimes Joan was not able to speak, but only listened. When she was able to speak, she was very welcoming to Lynn and appreciative. Lynn also kept concerned VVCC volunteers who knew Joan updated on her status. Joan is now out of the hospital and volunteers are shopping for her. She continues to say how much she appreciated the phone calls.

VVCC gives a special heartfelt thanks to volunteers who have been helping neighbors during this crisis. "We couldn't do this important work without you," said VVCC Executive Director Kent Ellsworth. "Because of you we are keeping neighbors who are living independently safe."
Become a volunteer tech coach
VVCC wants to help seniors stay connected to family, friends, and healthcare providers by utilizing their smart phones and tablets

VVCC is building a team of volunteer tech coaches to help neighbors use their smart devices. VVCC launched an initial pilot to test the Tech Coach Program concept with one tech coach volunteer providing direct support to neighbors who wanted to learn how to use their smartphones to connect with family members who live out-of-state and to their primary care physician. At this early stage, the three neighbors who received our direct, in-home assistance with downloading and using apps and with entering contacts all express their complete satisfaction and gratefulness for having this assistance. These early recipients of this service all state they gave up using regular customer support services provided by their mobile phone service.

If you would like to become a tech coach volunteer please contact VVCC's Call Center at (928) 204-1238.Volunteers are also needed to transport neighbors to medical appointments and grocery shopping, friendly visiting/respite, and shopping for neighbors. Volunteers are especially needed in Camp Verde.
VVCC welcomes two new board members
Joseph Montedonico, J.D. joined the board in Aug. He has lived in Sedona for 18 years and is a full-time personal injury trial lawyer. He provides pro bono work for the Navajo Nation and is also the pro bono attorney for the Verde Valley Wine Consortium, Verde Valley Archaeology Center and the Sedona Art Museum.
Joe was inspired to become involved with VVCC because, “The organization has a wonderful reputation for providing transportation to the elderly and those in need in northern Arizona.” He sees it as an opportunity for him to give back.
Bruce Peek, M.D., Cardiologist joined the board in April. Prior to that he helped VVCC develop its COVID-19 protocols for employees, volunteers, and neighbors.

During Bruce's tenure as Director of ICU and Cardiology at Verde Valley Medical Center, he came to appreciate the critical role served by VVCC in assisting with discharges, allowing patients to go home and yet have transportation and support while recovering. He observed that VVCC “helped prevent readmissions and I feel improved patients’ quality of life after serious medical illnesses.”

VVCC's Annual Fundraising Gala
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still help this year!
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