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2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Chaparral Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Health, Nursing Facilities, Philanthropy, Private Operating Foundations, Seniors

Mission: Chaparral House provides care for frail elders in a dynamic, life-affirming, homelike environment where privacy and self-esteem are respected, freedom of choice and freedom of expression are encouraged, and participation and contribution are appreciated.

Target demographics: frail elders

Geographic areas served: Skilled Nursing

Programs: providing a safe home like atmosphere with engaging and stimulating activities.

Community Stories

22 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love Chaparral house because they quickly invited me into their facility and took time to get to know me. They show the same care to their residents, which makes it a fun place to volunteer. I will always give to them when I can.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love volunteering for Chaparral House! The residents are well taken care of and the staff is there to answer any questions posed by volunteers.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I bring my two year-old son and sweet dog to Chaparral House to visit the residents and we have such fun! Everyone is always friendly and happy to see us. It's obvious that the residents are well cared for and the management is doing a great job.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've volunteered with the elderly before, and I can safely say that Chaparral House provides senior citizens with a safe and loving environment. The nurses and staff take a personal interest in each resident and try their best to make everyone feel at home. As a volunteer I also feel that Chaparral House makes the extra effort to make us feel comfortable, which is something many non-profits do not do.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I began volunteering for Chaparral House over a decade ago, visiting residents, giving weekly classes and eventually serving as a board member.

In my professional work, I visit a lot of elder care facilities, and Chaparral House is one of the few that feels like a real community and home. The people who work there---from the caregivers, administrative staff, support staff (kitchen, maintenance, etc.) an amazing and creative activities department--as well as the numerous volunteers who offer their time, are truly compassionate, respectful of the diverse needs of the residents, and love working with elders.

Some of my fondest memories are hearing strains of live music coming from the living room, watching wheel chair dancing at the annual open house, and pushing the wheelchair of an elder on a sunny day in the gardens and hearing her delight at just feeling the wind in her face. Even witnessing beautiful and heartfelt memorials in the living room for the residents who have died there has been memorable.

I always say that I want Chaparral House to be there for me when I need rehabilitative or long-term care.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer with Chaparral House, it's been extremely heartwarming to observe the individual care given to each person staying there. It's also been a pleasure associating with the staff, who are always very friendly, making the volunteers feel part of the Chaparral House family.

There's an activity calendar with many events, which is so important, as it keeps the residents active, giving them reason to spend time outside of their individual rooms.

The grounds are immaculate with beautiful flowers, plants and trees surrounding the area. There's also benches outside in the secured parklike setting, giving one an excuse to get out for a bit of fresh air.

It's been a pleasure volunteering here and I feel very fortunate having found Chaparral House.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have worked closely with the people of Chaparral House and can confidently recommend this place for residents and volunteers alike. It is wonderful to be a part of a community with a greater purpose that is filled with caring individuals.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My mother was a resident of Chaparral for the last three years of her life. The nursing skills and compassion the staff and management provided was excellent. Not only was my mother cared for, but the care and compassion was shared with family members as well. Because of the care given to my mother, I served as a board member for four years, I wanted to give back to this extraordinary
organization.

Placing a family member in skilled nursing home is a difficult decision,Chaparral, made all the difference for me as well as my mother.

Kathy Bishop

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a weekly Chaparral volunteer for over four years. Watching the staff gently work with the residents warms my heart. Seeing the residents respond to them is also gratifying. Chaparral is quick to acknowledge, appreciate and inform its volunteer crew. It's a pleasant environment for all stakeholders, which is why I keep going back. I provide a "music hour" for the residents, but the visitors and staff seem to enjoy it too. My goal is to provide a happy memory and bring a smile to the faces of the patients, and when that happens, my day is made. Chaparral staff always make sure I have everything I need to achieve that goal. It's where I would take my loved one should the need arise.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Chaparral House house over the past few years in several ways - as a program volunteer, as a family friend of a resident, and just recently have joined the organization's Board of Trustees.

I have been deeply impressed with the care, the activities, and in general the loving supportive atmosphere of Chaparral House. The staff that I have worked with have consistently been passionately devoted to the care of the residents, many of whom are very frail and some of whom be a challenge to their caregivers. These are goodhearted and professional people working in a supportive environment that brings out their best, and it is just a pleasure to see it.

Someone recently asked me 'isn't it depressing?' to go into a nursing home as a volunteer, and I told her no, it is actually reassuring to know that there are places where people are getting loving care, and uplifting to contribute to it even in a small way.

Elaine40

Client Served

Rating: 5

My uncle spent the last year of his life at the Chaparral House. Before he came to live at the Chaparral House he was not a particularly nice man, however, the staff and volunteers were able to make him laugh and smile. He enjoyed the fellowship he experienced there. The food was always wonderful and he complemented the chef. I could not have asked for better end-of-life care for my uncle. I highly recommend anyone looking for care for their loved one to consider Chaparral House.

Elizabeth158

Volunteer

Rating: 5

There are so many good organizations to work with, but Chaparral House is a GREAT organization. I've been on the Board for several years and I am so proud of every staff member and every volunteer and every family member that keeps the spirit of Chaparral House growing and thriving. It is an honor to be on the board of an organization that cares about everyone that enters through the door of the HOUSE.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been a Chaparral House volunteer for 5+ years, providing administrative support. My volunteering in this capacity illustrates the priority that Chaparral puts on direct resident care - no extra staff for administrative tasks. Managers have limited office space and equipment and no clerical support; yet maintain good humor and demonstrate gentle, concerned care with residents and their families. Having a family member in a large, more "corporate" nursing home, I'm keenly aware of the contrast with Chaparral's smaller, more family-oriented environment.

Alan28

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been volunteering at the Chaparral House for a couple of years now and I can truly say that it is a wonderful place for elderly folk to be. The staff is always so welcoming, gentle, and playful with the seniors. Being able to interact with the folk here has always been such a pleasure, whether it be making arts and crafts, playing board games, or simply have a conversation. It's a wonderful place that deserves recognition!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experience with Chaparral House has been fantastic thus far. The staff are all incredibly friendly and aid in creating a very welcoming atmosphere for the both the volunteers and the residents. I've heard wonderful things from one of the residents I interact with on a regular basis and have greatly enjoyed my time volunteering here for the past several months. Oftentimes it can be difficult to find meaningful volunteer activities to become actively engaged in, but you'll look no further once you commit to Chaparral House.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been involved as a volunteer at Chaparral House for about a year now, and it's been an enriching and growthful experience throughout. I initially began working with Chaparral House as a menu volunteer (filling out menus with residents and connecting between residents and the kitchen generally) and have since moved into other capacities like helping with outings and tea parties. In addition to being a facility that puts a great deal of thought and care into working with the elders and residents there, Chaparral House has a really positive volunteer community including people from all walks of like - college students, young professionals, musicians, family members, and more - with strong volunteer management from Kim and other folks in the Activities department.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering at Chaparral House since February and love it. It is located in a beautiful area and I look forward to my walks down Allston Way on Saturday afternoons to meet with residents at the house and enjoy my volunteer experience there :)

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a registered nurse and have worked at many institutions for the elderly. What I learned when I came to volunteer at Chaparral House was how different this place was. First off it's small and so every individual who lives there is recognized for their own precious characteristics and gets their needs met based on who they actually are. For some that means reading poetry to them, for others it's spending time sitting in the garden quietly. It's a real community and not an institution in the traditional sense. The staff genuinely want to be there and that makes all the difference in the world for the residents. It comes down to TLC. It is a great place and where I would put my parents if and when the time comes.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I work with the elderly and was looking for a place to volunteer that would give me some insight into what it is like for someone at the end of life or suffering from dementia to be in a facility. I started doing one on one visits with many of the residents and I could quickly tell that Chaparral House is not your standard skilled nursing facility. There is so much care and attention that goes into the environment and providing activities to keep the quality of life for residents as optimal as possible. I hope to someday pass along many of the things I have learned from Chaparral to other needy organizations.

Ellen58

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a board member for two years and am proud to be part of a facility that provides such wonderful care for people who are older or disabled. Their activities program is very special and they are a very exciting place to volunteer.

Kate85

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I work in non-profits, and the winter before last, I was looking for a place to volunteer that did a different type of work. I found a volunteer job posting for a coordinator to put on a monthly tea party at Chaparral House in Berkeley, with the support of other volunteers. I was excited that the opportunity fit my schedule (I work full-time so can't work during the week and was not wanting to commit to a weekly position). In addition, I had worked with seniors early in my professional career, and had experience putting on events and managing volunteers.

I met with the Volunteer Coordinator and was so pleased with what I saw and felt during that first visit. I saw caring staff who were interacting with residents in a non-condescending manner, a very full activities calendar, and lovely grounds and gardens outside.

Shortly thereafter, I attended an excellent general volunteer training which included wonderful information on working with people with dementia, and Chaparral House rules and protocols. Then I began coming once a month to set up, serve, and clean up the monthly tea party with the help of a rotating crew of other dedicated volunteers.

I've now been coordinating the tea party for a year and a half, and I can say it's been the best volunteer experience of my life. The staff are all excellent communicators, so each month I know ahead of time how many volunteers I will have helping me, for instance.

I've found the staff to be incredibly competent and compassionate and, in general, just lovely people to be around. I have a clear understanding of my role and I feel really valued by everyone there.

Many, many organizations claim to operate from a place of loving compassion, but Chaparral House really walks the walk - it's a very special place and I feel honored to be able to contribute to this very special home.

Betty36

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first approached Chaparral House about volunteering in their garden after they put out a request for help. During my interview I shared that what I really preferred to do was lead a chair-based yoga program. After I described my qualifications and experience, they made it happen. I've been leading a weekly chair-based yoga session for almost two years now.

Chaparral House is a great place to volunteer because the staff appreciates the volunteers! It is committed to offering a wide variety of activities for the residents. Volunteers who lead those activities are respected for what they offer. There is outstanding communication between Chaparral House and its volunteers. Schedules are confirmed monthly and posted so that everyone knows what's going on. Volunteers are notified when one of the residents passes away. The atmosphere is home-like. When I'm leading my yoga group, it almost feels like I'm in a comfortable living room rather than a facility.

At Chaparral House I'm made to feel like an important part of the community. I appreciate the mutual respect among staff, residents and volunteers.