Legacy Award: Verde Cares

Verde Cares, 2017 Legacy Award Winner

The Lower Verde Valley Hall of Fame has announced that  VerdeCares, a non-profit home health provider based in Rio Verde, will be the recipient of the Hall of Fame’s 2017 Legacy Award.The volunteer organization was nominated by the Verdes Hall of Fame members.

“We feel strongly that VerdeCares best represents the values to the Lower Verde Valley communities that is represented by the Legacy Award,” wrote 2012 Verde inductee Peter O’Reilly in the nominating application. “These volunteers clearly prove the motto of VerdeCares – ‘neighbors helping neighbors.”‘

Rio Verde Fire District Chief Jay Ducote offers his support for the nomination. “We see VerdeCares as a partner in fulfillment of our plan to provide emergency support to our communities,” Ducote said. “They provide services to help residents in the hospital through self-sufficiency (and) this means less return hospital trips.” “VerdeCares proactively helps residents with medical equipment and other resources helping to minimize the repetitive calls for assistance.”

Ducote added that as a member of the Rio Verde Emergency Preparedness Plan VerdeCares provides strategic volunteer services to support the Fire District in emergencies.  “We see VerdeCares as an integral part of our plan to carry out disaster recovery operations, especially in identifying and attending to individuals requiring emergency assistance.”  VerdeCares was founded in 2009 as a nonprofit Arizona Corporation by Tonto Verde residents Vicki and Kermit Beseke and began operations in 2010. Vicki serves as director of operations, while Kermit manages the business obligations of the organization.

A written company history states that “VerdeCares Inc. is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life and promoting the health and well-being of homebound adults, care-givers and those living with chronic illness and those returning from surgery within our lower Verde Valley communities.

“The company provides its non-medical, life changing services through a team of trained community volunteers at no charge. The company believes that community strength comes from the simple act of ‘neighbors helping neighbors.”‘  The VerdeCares volunteers (numbering 78 including nurses in 2016) are committed to providing extensive support services for Verde residents at no charge. Those services provided by the team include sharing groups, in-home social and wellness visits, meal deliveries, medical transportation, grocery shopping, errand assistance, social networking and interaction, handyman services, business support, care management and more.

During 2016 volunteers assisted about 320 neighbors. In providing that assistance the volunteers worked more than 25,000 hours, drovemore than 36,000 miles and delivered more than 1,500 meals. The in-kind value of the company’s services in 2016 totaled more than $600,000. Since VerdeCares began operations in 2010 the value of services it provided now totals nearly $2.3 million.

During 2016 VerdeCares was brought to the attention of Phoenix television station KPHO Channel 5 for its “Pay it Forward” recognition. The company was presented with $500 from the television station. While VerdeCares services do not at this time extend to Fountain Hills, Beseke says she has developed close relationships with those providing care services in Fountain Hills and works with them in obtaining therapy services, and all grocery runs are to this community.  She said she also is working closely with care providers in Fountain Hills including Fountain View Village, Morningside and individual residences in placing individuals needing 24-hour care.

A client of VerdeCares recently wrote, “As we have sold our house and begin our move, what I find now in life and in general is family and friends say and offer ‘how can I help’ – ‘let me know if I can help,’ but they do not even answer their phone. It’s so very painful as I sometimes feel so alone as a caregiver of my husband with Alzheimer’s. “But then I realize a group of strangers and volunteers are my backup. Thank you for your offer to help me with the move, your VerdeCares volunteers have always been here over the last four years to help.  “I’m so blessed and truly appreciate you all from the bottom of my heart for your support, education and activities for my husband and for being a dear friend to me.”