Verde Valley Caregivers is making the holiday season memorable for older adults who are often alone this time of year. VVCC’s Annual Holiday Giving Tree project has launched with trees up throughout the Verde Valley.
The public is invited to select gift tags from the trees, purchase the needed items, and return the wrapped gifts to a box located near each tree. Neighbors typically ask for warm socks, slippers, PJs, or blankets. Some have unusual needs. One neighbor writes, “Dear Santa, after losing most my teeth I have been depending on my electric coffee grinder to be my “molars” to grind my daily rice and the various seeds and nuts. But sadly, my grinder stopped working. So, if you could bring me a new one, oh boy, that would sure make my Christmas a very merry one!”
Many neighbors report this is the only present they receive at Christmas time. A neighbor recently commented: “This is the only gift I will receive this year. Thank you for making it special.”
The trees will be up at the following locations through Dec. 14:
For more information please call (928) 204-1238, ext. 8105.
VVCC is also in need of volunteers to drive older adults to medical appointments, grocery shopping or shop for, install Guardian Angel emergency alert units, make friendly visits, provide respite assistance, handyperson help, pet assistance and more. You decide when and how often you can volunteer. There is no set schedule. If you can drive three days a week, you can be a stipend driver. For more information call (928) 204-1238 Ext, 8104 or email Linda.
Verde Valley Caregivers Coalition has launched a Virtual Care Assistance Program to provide support to its older adult clients who wish to meet with their healthcare providers in the comfort of their homes.
The program provides the equipment, software, and staff/volunteer assistance so clients can have a telehealth appointment with their healthcare providers.
VVCC Executive Director Kent Ellsworth said the program ensures people with the greatest needs have access to healthcare resources. “This service helps make sure the people we serve can access their healthcare providers even when they cannot travel,” he adds.
The vision for the program happened during the pandemic, when VVCC clients were isolating at home and receiving smart phones, tablets, and other devices sent to them by family members so they could stay in touch. However, most could not set them up. In response, VVCC launched its Tech Coaching Program so clients could learn how to use their devices to interact with their families and eventually healthcare providers.
“Our service will help healthcare providers stay in contact with their older adult patients and patients with mobility challenges. We also anticipate providers experiencing fewer appointment cancellations,” Ellsworth said. “We look forward to partnering with healthcare providers throughout the Verde Valley to ensure our clients stay connected to them.”
VVCC also provides support services and care options necessary to keep older adults in their Verde Valley communities of choice including transportation to and from healthcare providers, physical therapy, dialysis, the grocery store, medication pickup, shopping for homebound clients, and food box deliveries.
VVCC also provides handyperson help, business assistance, respite assistance, pet assistance, tech coaching, and loaning of emergency alert units for adults at risk for falling.
VVCC is a 501 (c) (3), in its 30th year, with approximately 1,900 older adults enrolled throughout the Verde Valley to receive services. Most of VVCC’s services are provided by volunteers at no cost to eligible clients. For information about services and/or volunteering please call (928) 204-1238.
You may also visit our website https://vvcaregivers.org/ to donate and for a full list of client services and volunteer opportunities. VVCC is especially in need of volunteers for Tech Help, Virtual Assistance, and driving clients to medical appointments. You decide when and how often you can volunteer. There’s no set schedule. Full support and training provided. Equipment also provided for the virtual assistance service.
Yavapai County families and seniors who are a part of the Verde Valley Caregivers Coalition (VVCC) now have the ability to request financial support for lifesaving and quality of life veterinary care for their animal companions thanks to a $15,000 grant from the Arizona Community Foundation of Yavapai County.
Jennifer Brehler, Humane Society of Sedona (HSS) Executive Director stated, “Our goal in proposing this partnership with VVCC was to help ensure that families, and especially older adults living in Yavapai County would be supported during times of crisis with their pets, and not have to forgo medical treatment for their pet. We saw a 41% increase of owners giving up their animals last year and we wanted to help reverse this trend. We were overjoyed and relieved when we received the news our grant request for this life-saving project was approved by the Arizona Community Foundation of Yavapai County. For us, it is all about keeping people and their pets together, and that is what this funding and project does!”
The project’s goal is to assist up to 40 Yavapai County seniors or families with veterinary expenses relating to lifesaving or quality of life care. Preference will be given to Verde Valley Caregivers Coalition clients, but all cases presented by local veterinarians to HSS will be reviewed by Ms. Brehler and funding determined. VVCC’s Director Kent Ellsworth added, “We are thrilled to partner with HSS and of our 1,900 seniors, at least 500 of them have pets that make a huge difference in their lives. To be able to have funds available in addition to our Pets Count Too! Program will be lifesaving both for these seniors and their four-legged family members! 50% of our clients live at or below poverty level, so they are already challenged to cover personal expenses as they age, and sometimes their companion animals get neglected as a result, and we want to ensure that does not happen.”
Veterinarians in the Verde Valley will be made aware of the project and will submit their request for funding to HSS after the family or senior meets certain criteria specified by the grant. The intention of the grant is to keep up to 40 seniors or families in Yavapai County and their companion animals together. Since inception, ACF of Yavapai County has distributed more than $24.7 million in grants and scholarships to local nonprofit organizations and students. Their mission to “give where you live” is reflected in the approval of this $15,000 grant. Lisa Sahady, Regional Director, Arizona Community Foundation of Yavapai County shared, “This grant was made possible by our Pat and Gerhard Kroenaur Animal Friends Fund – one of eight Field of Interest Funds in our annual competitive grant cycle. Pat and Gerhard loved their animals and they would be proud to know their legacy gift, which created this fund is keeping seniors, families and their pets together.”
The project will be launched over the next month as Verde Valley veterinarians will be informed of the process for submitting their client’s requests. For more information on the project, please contact Felicia Filep, Director of Development at the Humane Society of Sedona at 928-282-4679 ext. 130 or ffilep@HumaneSocietyofSedona.org
Founded in 1966, the Humane Society of Sedona continues to take in lost, injured, and surrendered dogs, cats, and other small animals from 10am to 4pm daily by appointment only. Its mission is to build a caring community where every adoptable or treatable companion animal finds a loving home.
Founded in 1993, the Arizona Community Foundation of Yavapai County was the Arizona Community Foundation’s first affiliate. The Arizona Community Foundation of Yavapai County enjoys the advantages and economy of centralized management and administrative resources while the local Board of Advisors brings regional knowledge and expertise to address the community's unique needs. ACF of Yavapai County has over $68.8 million in assets.
Linda M. Clark
Development & Communications Manager
299 Van Deren, Suite 2
Sedona, AZ 86336