NEED by Sheryl Keeme, Executive Director

The word NEED is one of few words that could be both a verb/an action and also could be a noun/a thing. This time of year, early fall, is one in which we tend to struggle a bit in both categories.

NEED: (v.) requiring (something) because it is essential or very important.

The community around our mission of helping people age in place are a generous bunch of humans who not only give up one of their limited resources (time) they also routinely part with their other big one, money. For the last 29 years, NWC has operated and helped thousands, even in a pandemic, because of the faithfulness of our tribe. Having been here for three years now (I KNOW I can’t believe it either), I have witnessed this gap time of September where we tend to wring our hands. Our dollars slip deeply beginning in July and tend not to recover until October. With this knowledge, I have come to expect it and plan accordingly. Despite planning, we still do NEED dollars as they are essential and very important to keeping the lights on so our staff and volunteers can continue our work of matching our clients to willing volunteers. As my Dad used to tell me, the answer’s always NO if you don’t ask, so I am ASKING today for you to consider making a contribution to Neighbors Who Care to help us glide over this September gap this year.

The September hand-wringing is also about the profound shortage of volunteers. Whether the reason is our friends have not yet returned from their summer travels, or because our volunteers are busy with vacations or guests, or perhaps they are simply (and understandably) avoiding the lingering heat, we have found it necessary to cut off client requests for certain days because the number of requests have exceeded available volunteers. Again, I am asking, if you are already a volunteer, will you consider saying YES an extra time or two? And, if you are not a volunteer, perhaps you will consider becoming one? Just remember we NEED volunteers but if you think about it, our disparity reflects or represents people, our neighbors, and their individual requests for access to food or medical care. Sometimes, even I have to really let that sink in and think about it.

NEED: (n.) expressing necessity or obligation.

I would be remiss if I did not take this opportunity to thank those who have continued to give of both finite resources, even during this summer’s murderous heat. THANK YOU! We appreciate each moment and each dollar of help no matter what or when it is offered. Soon, the weather will return to manageable temperatures, our winter visitors will return, and our coffers will return to better levels. In the meantime, if you can help us now in our time of NEED, on behalf of our hundreds of clients, I am sending an extra hug today. 

Sheryl Keeme, Executive Director