An Active Adult Community


Neighbors Who Care, Inc.

In 1995, the Interfaith Council of greater Sun Lakes recognized a need for a grocery shopping service for homebound or disabled people in Sun Lakes and Sunbird and founded an organization known, at that time, as Neighbors Helping Neighbors. Acting Director Gene Mangis, working with a planning committee, was in charge as they established a location and classes for new volunteers. (30 people attended the first orientation.)  Later that year Director Ann Porter was hired as permanent director. The first office was in an enclosed church carport. At that time the office was staffed only 10-15 hrs a week.

In 1997 it was discovered that two other Arizona organizations were using the  name Neighbors Helping Neighbors and the Board, directed by Howard Wolfmeyer, voted to change the name to Neighbors Who Care (NWC). The next year the office was moved to one of the apartments on Fairway Boulevard. In 1999, Ann retired and Barbara Moore was hired. At this time the office was running two used computers, and tracking volunteer/client activity via a huge ledger and two file boxes of cards identifying the volunteers and clients. There were now over 350 active clients and about the same number of volunteers.

In the Fall of 1999, a computer program was developed by the DiFrancescos (NWC volunteers) and their son, to track volunteer activity, client usage of the services offered, as well as the financial support received from the community.  A van was donated by Lois and Dwight Grotwold to be used to transport clients to shopping and medical appointments. Many others also made significant contributions to NWCs growth and prosperity. In this same year, NWC organized as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.

With the organization’s continued growth, a larger facility was needed. NWC rented a small house on Parkside Drive and moved again in 2003. Howard retired this year as Director of the Board, and not long after, Barbara Moore resigned as Executive Director. Leslie Lindquist replaced Barbara. In 2005, Chris Stage was hired to fill the position, and together with the Board of Directors began to actively seek a permanent home for the organization.

With the support of Northern Trust Bank and the work of a diligent group of volunteers, a plan was formulated in 2006 and the groundwork was laid to purchase a condominium in the Professional Village complex at Riggs and Alma School Roads. In January 2007 the organization moved into their own permanent “home”.

The Mission of NWC... The comfort of home and the dignity of independence; at Neighbors Who Care, community volunteers help the elderly live at home. The organization fulfills its mission by providing non-medical services, at no charge, through its corps of over 600 community volunteers to nearly 700 clients.

Services include: transportation to and from medical appointments, dinner delivery, friendly visiting, reassurance calling, business assistance, help with minor repairs, shopping and errands (performed with or for the client) and respite care for full-time caregivers. They continue to operate a van that takes clients grocery shopping.  The service area, once just Sun Lakes and Sunbird, now includes 30 square miles of Sun Lakes and south Chandler.

All of this could not be accomplished without the financial support of the private
community and the governmental, foundation and corporate contributions received. The office is staffed by two full time and six part time staff and a core of volunteers utilizing a comprehensive database to match volunteers to clients needing services.

NWC has benefitted from the leadership of many in the community, including former Board Chairs: Howard Wolfmeyer, Frank Gould, Nancy Sheridan and Bill Hughes. Phil Hemberg is the current Board Chair.Chris Stage recently retired as Executive Director and Leslie Lindquist returned to the position in January 2010.

In its 15 years of operation, NWC volunteers logged over 1,000,000 miles providing services on over 184,000 occasions. In total, nearly $3,000,000 worth of services have been donated to the community by Neighbors Who Care volunteers.



*Cottonwood Palo Verde at Sun Lakes is an age 55 and older housing community in accordance with the Arizona and Federal Fair Housing Acts.