Wednesday Jan 19 2011
These neighbors help their neighbors indeed
By: Stephanie Dumm News Messenger Reporter
While some residents may take for granted being able to get on a ladder to replace light bulbs or smoke detector batteries, there are other residents who cannot do those tasks. That’s where Neighbors InDeed comes in. A nonprofit organization based out of Sun City Lincoln Hills, Neighbors InDeed provides services for Sun City residents who need a little extra help around the house, according to president Joan Brant-Love. “Helping people is our mission, to help people to be able to stay in their homes as long as possible,” Brant-Love said. “What we do is assist people who can no longer do household tasks.” One service provided is called Handy Helpers, which are volunteers performing household tasks, including programming sprinkler systems, replacing furnace filters, programming televisions and DVD players, and water-heater safety checks. When residents call Neighbors InDeed and tell them what service is needed, their information is entered into a database and a Handy Helper is dispatched to the residence within one to two days, according to Brant-Love. Larry Schurr, who heads up the Handy Helper program with Herman Tijsseling, said the helpers go out on more than 200 calls a month. “We have a two-hour training session. What we do is invite the homeowners up here and our new Handy Helpers and do the same training for both,” Schurr said. “After that, the Handy Helper goes on a buddy call to make sure they know how to do all of the stuff.” A business card is given to the resident upon arrival so they know the Handy Helper “is legit” and a liability form is signed, according to Schurr. At the work’s completion, a donation comment card is given to the resident, since Schurr said donations are “our major source of funds to pay for our insurance.” “It’s really a lot of fun to go to a person’s house, and 99.9 percent of the time, they are so thrilled that you are there to help them,” Schurr said. “We would like to keep them in their homes as long as we can. The fact that you can go in and help someone, it’s so gratifying. Neighbors InDeed also provides information and information for more than 450 vendors, agencies and other resources for residents, which can range from plumbers, transportation and support groups, Brant-Love said. Medical equipment such as walkers, crutches and wheelchairs are also available for loan through the organization. Neighbors InDeed also help Sun City residents learn how to take care of their homes and do household maintenance tasks through monthly workshops. “It’s stuff a lot of people can do themselves but some people aren’t as handy or can’t get up ladders. That’s why we’re there,” Brant-Love said. She said Neighbors InDeed is always looking for volunteers, which can range from answering phone calls from residents needing service or dispatching on-site services to being a Handy Helper. For more information on Neighbors InDeed, call 233-2763 or visit its website at neighborsindeed.info. The Lincoln News Messenger profiles a nonprofit organization every week. If you would like to see an organization featured, please call 774-7967 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.