- Organization Name:About Care
- Address:P.O. Box 3278
Chandler, AZ 85244
About Care delivers caring, compassionate support services using trained volunteers with special concern for the elderly and physically challenged homebound residents of Chandler and Gilbert. Our goal is to allow our neighbors to reamin in their homes, live with self-respect and dignity while encouraging independence.
Our services are free of charge and include: transportation (mainly to medical appointments), shopping and errands, respite, friendly visits, reassurance phone calls, minor home repairs, business help and a computer assistance program.
About Care is a relatively new organization begun in July 2005. We would appreciate flexibility in determining the specific line items to which it would allocate a hypothetical grant of $10,000 from the Lawrence Foundation. We do commit that 100% would be spent on operating costs to enable the elderly in Chandler and Gilbert, AZ to remain independent in their own homes with dignity.
We recently expanded our services to include seven days a week, which provides opportunities for volunteers who work during the week and allow some of our clients to go shopping or attend weekend events such as religious services.
The majority of our clients are the frail elderly who have suffered many losses, including their family home, a family member, their health, their friends, and their driving privileges. For these clients, we provide transportation, shopping and errand running, friendly visits, respite, reassurance phone calls, respite, minor home repairs, information & referral and a computer assistance program. Since July 1, 2011, About Care volunteers provided 18,452 services, donated 34,182 hours and drove over 170,000 miles for our neighbors!
About Care is governed by a diverse board of directors with representatives from: healthcare providers, various business communities, including the transportation arena. Currently we serve the homebound elderly by providing the following volunteer services: transportation, shopping and errands, reassurance phone calls, friendly visiting, minor home repairs, business help, computer assistance, information and referral and respite for caregivers.
Volunteers complete an orientation and are screened before beginning to provide services. They receive ongoing support and training, along with recognition of their efforts. We are enhancing our respite and friendly visiting services by targeting some of our volunteer recruitment of retired care-giving professionals. These retired professionals are providing leadership by training new volunteers from medical or care giving professions. This enhancement of training has allowed us to market these volunteer services more to hospitals and medical facilities by supporting their discharge of patients. We recently created to create a computer assistance program that provides the computer and training to open up a whole new world of communication for the homebound. It also has created a “coffee clutch” with some of our clients, relieving the isolation that many of them feel and meet other clients in similar situations.
When a call from a potential client is generated to the About Care office, the Manager of Volunteer Services does a phone interview to determine the client’s needs and if they are appropriate to receive volunteer services. If appropriate, a home visit is then scheduled to sign up the client but to also insure the volunteers’ safety. Once the client is established in the database they can be matched geographically and by interest to volunteers.
The majority (88%) of About Care’s clients are elderly women who are economically disadvantaged. Many of our clients come from a few of the oldest neighborhoods of North Chandler and Gilbert, AZ. Many may live in older mobile homes, have only their social security and small pensions, with more than half (91%) having incomes of less than $20,000 per year.
About Care was granted its IRS 501(c)(3) status in June 2006. In the beginning About Care only served the residents of Chandler but expanded its services in 2008 to Gilbert because of the growing need for services for the elderly in our community. Currently we have 150 active volunteers who provide services to 308 elderly neighbors. The majority of our clients are the frail elderly who have suffered many losses, including their family home, a family member, their health, their friends, and their driving privileges. For these clients, we provide transportation, shopping and errand running, friendly visits, respite, reassurance phone calls, respite, minor home repairs, information & referral and computer assistance program. Since July 1, 2011, About Care volunteers provided 18,452 services, donated 34,182 hours and drove over 170,000 miles for our neighbors!
By June 2013, we intend to have 200 volunteers providing 3250 unduplicated services to elderly clients who live within our service area. The boundaries of our service area are the communities of Chandler and Gilbert, AZ.
About Care Founders, Barbara and Buzz Bradley, received our 501(c) (3) tax exempt status from the IRS in June 2006 (EIN 34-2047687). Barbara Bradley had been the Executive Director of Neighbors Who Care before creating About Care. Ann Marie McArthur is the current Executive Director. Ms. McArthur came to About Care after retiring from the State of Arizona where she was the director of several State Agencies.
We currently number over 150 volunteers that provide a variety of services, but typically, transportation to medical appointments to residents of Chandler and Gilbert. These residents are primarily economically disadvantaged elderly women. At least 88% of the residents we serve have a disability.
The program model About Care uses is based on a proven model developed in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson’s Faith in Action program. Agencies implementing this model have demonstrated that trained volunteers with a special concern for the frail elderly, physically challenged and chronically ill homebound can be cost effectively mobilized to deliver free support services such as transportation, friendly visiting, minor repairs, etc. With this support, people can avoid having to exercise long term care options much longer and remain independent in their own homes, with an improved quality of life.
About Care enters the lives of those it serves at a time of change. It provides opportunities for its volunteers to focus outside themselves and find meaning in helping others who have suffered the loss of their health, driving privilege, a spouse, etc. Volunteers focus on the abilities and strengths of the clients we serve, and then do “little things with great love” to provide the encouragement and support people need to be able to do what they thought was no longer possible for them. Volunteer training emphasizes that About Care’s purpose is to create self confidence and independence.
In a recent Needs Assessment by the City of Chandler, the elderly was one of six population groups whose needs where included in the assessment. It should be noted that in the assessment summary, About Care was recognized by name as one of only two organizations that are making a difference in the lives of the elder communities they serve.
The focus group discussions identified a helpful distinction in the identification of different types of resources to the elderly/senior population group. A gap exists in adequately providing sufficient transportation options that provide “door through door” services (help getting out the door, into a vehicle, through the door for an appointment and back into the house after a treatment). Challenges were identified related to resources. The report states “The important observation about several of the gaps for the elderly is the recognition that a strong volunteer corps could help to alleviate several of these needs, but what is the best way to mobilize and organize volunteers? A large number of survey respondents indicated that they are “concerned citizens” but are not currently volunteering for any human services agency.
However, another less tangible need is to provide our elders with the information they need to access existing resources and to remove the reluctance to ask for help…the sense of shame or embarrassment.
Overall the analysis provided a prioritized list of community goals. Those goals for the elderly population include
• Transportation needs
• Door through door services for health care and basic needs, especially for those with dementia
• Increased transportation options for medical appointments, pharmacy needs and groceries
• Reduction in confusion about service boundaries associated with individual providers
• Resource sharing
• Improved quality of life
• Volunteer options: Create venues for volunteers (including the elderly) to meet the needs of this population group
• Companionship and reassurance calls, especially for the homebound
• Transportation for elderly neighbors
About Care daily encounters and addresses challenges faced by homebound elderly citizens. About Care has an active 8 member Board of Directors committed to the mission and community. They are actively involved in all aspects of the organization – even volunteering with services!
- Year established:2006
- Organization type:Grantseeker
- Country of registration:United States
- Tax Determination Letter:Received Determination Letter
- IRS Section:501(c)(3)
- IRS Subsection:509(a)(1)
Other Website Listings
Types of funding being sought (i.e. funding type)
- None specified
Program areas of focus and activity (i.e. funding cause)
- None specified
Geographic areas of focus and activity (i.e. geographic area)
- None specified
Organization tax information is not viewable for this organization.