Originally Published: March 2, 2009 11:19 p.m.
Fritzi Mevis is heavily into "all-for-one-and-one-for-all-ishness" in the social services realm.
Mevis is program director for People Who Care, an organization whose 300 volunteers provide five-day-a-week, year-round assistance to elderly, chronically ill or disabled adults in Prescott and Chino Valley who are unable to drive, thus helping them to keep living independently in their own homes. The scope of the volunteers' efforts is wide, with examples including such things as driving their clients to medical or dental appointments, assisting them with shopping, giving a hand with personal paperwork, providing minor home repairs and caregiver relief, helping to monitor home safety, and periodic phoning and visiting.
"Our goal is to provide the resources to meet their everyday challenges," Mevis says, "and to further a nurturing relationship between our volunteers and the people they're helping."
Needs are great in many areas, she notes, and that's where the aforementioned "all-for-one" aspect enters the picture. Cooperation among the various intertwining social services organizations is essential, Mevis stresses, and People Who Care is working together with the other nonprofit agencies such as those under the United Way umbrella - but not limited to those organizations - as they "weave together the fabric of community." She says there has been a "significant shift toward such a cooperative effort in the area" as organizations "address the many challenges that our seniors face."
Maximizing resources is crucial to overall success when it comes to blending efforts of the various agencies as they pursue their multifaceted goals, and Mevis takes note of how the agency she heads is working toward that end. Volunteers provide People Who Care's lifeblood, of course, and are welcomed with open arms. But it is not unusual for the agency to steer individuals to other nonprofits should they have a special interest or gifts that could be used to better advantage with another agency. Such sharing of talents works to the advantage of all concerned, including the volunteers themselves and the people they are assisting.
If you're interested in exploring the possibility of volunteering in any capacity, an opportunity awaits you this Friday, March 6, when People Who Care has scheduled an information/orientation meeting from 9 to 11:30 a.m. at its offices at the Prescott United Methodist Church, 505 W. Gurley St.
Mevis extends the invitation to "join us to see if this is something that you might like to do," and she stresses that attendance "does not obligate you to sign up to volunteer."
For additional information or to sign up for the meeting, call 445-2480.
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