cross the country and our communities, people are isolated because of social distancing, a COVID-19 health and safety practice to prevent contracting the virus.
However, there is a downside — they’ve become emotionally and physically threatened by the lack of transport and inability to take care of health needs.
Northwest Valley Connect Mobility Program continues to go forward with a ride solution for many seniors, people experiencing disabilities and veterans residing independently in West Valley communities who lack access to public transportation.
The year 2020 has been difficult. Condolences from Northwest Valley Connect staff and volunteers go out to all who have lost loved ones, friends, family members or to those otherwise affected by the pandemic.
In consideration transport activity slowed during the last months but a number of amazing volunteers continue ride transport for the most vulnerable individuals attending dialysis and cancer treatments. Volunteers, also, assist with online food shopping and food bank pickup and delivery.
Greater dependency on van transport is the ride solution for social distancing. During August, the Federal Transportation Department 5310 funds provided Northwest Valley Connect with a 2021 brand new 12-passenger van with air conditioning and music. We are looking forward to more community members requesting a ride to their destination as community services continue to reopen.
Our people are important to us and the sentiment is conveyed by additional volunteers who are making “well check” calls to minimize fears of isolation. Approximately 75 clients are contacted weekly by volunteers. They share Information that creates an awareness of available community resources along with NVC/COVID-19 health and safety best practices that promotes ride participation.
Callers have voiced their concern and NVC officials responded by increasing the level of health standards for equipment and volunteer personal vehicles. Quality sanitation products are used to clean each vehicle after a trip. Gloves are worn when volunteers are physically assisting a client and all drivers and riders wear a mask provided by NVC.
Our thanks to two of our clients who were so thoughtful and kind as to donate the funding for the wrap on our newest bus. Louis and Teresa are the sweetest of people. They live in Surprise and were regulars at the Surprise Senior Center where Teresa worked for a while. The center is closed and now Northwest Valley Connect helps with transporting Louis to medical appointments. They are now just the best of friends with Rich, one of the drivers who is pictured in the wrap on one side of the bus. Our most heartfelt appreciation to Louis and Teresa!
Please call 623-282-9300 if you need help with transportation, are interested in volunteering or would like a deduction in your taxes and would like to donate to Northwest Valley Connect.
Editor’s Note: Kathy Chandler is Northwest Valley Connect executive director and mobility manager.