By Kathy Chandler
Northwest Valley Connect Executive Director
We started in 2014 in a cubicle provided by Benevilla and the administrative support by Sun Health. A one person staff and a couple of volunteers assisted 288 individuals with ride referral to get them to doctor appointments and physical therapy for dialysis or cancer treatment. People thought Northwest Valley Connect was a ride service for a health care organization.
Little did they know things change.
Today, NVC is located in your community and is an evolving volunteer transport organization in the West Valley communities. More than 74,000 seniors are 65 years and older, may be physically and cognitively impaired and may be a veteran, and the graying timeline does not stand still for the aging population. NVC provides transport to the 9,600 individuals of this group who are without access to transportation services as a result of fragmented public or third-party transit services or individuals do not drive.
Seventy-five NVC volunteers transport neighbors, family members or friends to health service appointments, dialysis, cancer treatment centers, food shopping and social events. Volunteers use personal vehicles and assume insurance costs, and may drive NVC vehicles and two accessible vans with wheelchair lifts. More than 12,000 trips were provided at an average of eight miles per trip, or 96,000 miles were driven by NVC volunteers in 2018.
Transportation is the lifeline for aging seniors and the ride request demand grows by 11-14% each year. Additional ride services are part of the Mobility Center menu these days and as the demand for ride services increase so does the need to expand the Board of Directors.
The nine-member board is directed by Bonnie Boyce-Wilson and the organization represents the leadership in communities and the strength of organizations who are known in the social, human services and civic interests of residents.
NVC has a tradition of reaching out to communities and we invite persons engaged in community affairs and interested in fostering NVC purpose to advance equality and human dignity through social and civic justice and economic change. Our vision promotes transportation culture for the aging that addresses access to community resources while preventing isolation and encouraging healthy lifestyles. NVC is supported by numerous stakeholders and partners you may recognize.
Rest assured, we know your time is valued. However, the added value given communities in areas of legal services, marketing, fundraising, public relations, etc., through Northwest Valley Connect are a tremendous service. It’s the pay-forward that strengthens the culture of our communities. Nonprofit organizations are the fastest growing sector in the U.S. economy, ranking fifth in the nation.
Please consider your time and value while we stand before you and ask for your support. Review our website, northwestvalleyconnect.org, and contact Bonnie Boyce-Wilson, NVC board Chairwoman, 623-282-9304.
Northwest Valley Connect is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that qualifies for federal tax deduction and Arizona tax credit.