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Shepherd's Centers of America

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Human Services, Senior Centers, Seniors

Mission: Shepherd’s Centers of America is dedicated to creating significant opportunities for service, lifelong learning and healthy living for older adults through an interfaith network of community-based organizations.

Results: More than 2 million older adults have participated in Shepherd's Centers of America since 1974. Our annual impact includes: • 55,000 older adults were helped through free, informal caregiving services • 100,000 older adults participated in Adventures in Learning • 13,000 volunteers donated 660,000 hours of service • Estimated value of services is more than $15.5 million in services provided at no cost to individuals, health care agencies or government.

Target demographics: older adults

Direct beneficiaries per year: 168,000 older Americans

Geographic areas served: 58 communities

Programs: volunteer caregiving, educational enrichment and health and fitness.

Community Stories

77 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

SCAS_annandale

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

“Shepherd’s Centers provide valuable services, including transportation to and from medical appointments, Friendly Callers and Handy Helpers at no cost to Senior Adults. The Lunch 'N Life's and Day Trips are also wonderful opportunities to meet other Seniors and create friendships later in life. Social isolation can be a large problem for Seniors, but Shepherd's Centers help in decreasing this. I am proud to be associated with Shepherd’s Centers!”

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am so proud to work for the Shepherd's Center of Webster/Kirkwood as the Services Coordinator. I get to roll up my sleeves alongside vibrant older adult volunteers who work to advance our culture with regard to aging.

Our service volunteers help provide peace of mind to older adults in our community by driving to medical appointments, managing small home repairs and helping with yard work. While completing these important tasks, they are connecting with our clients, forming friendships and combating the isolation that can come with living alone. I'm grateful to be a part of this loving organization!

Previous Stories

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Living a life with purpose and meaning. This goal doesn't change as we age but the roads leading to that goal can change. Our children may be grown, our careers may have ended and physical limitations may make things such as driving, yard work and hobbies out of reach.

The Shepherd's Centers of America help older adults keep purpose and meaning in their lives through volunteerism, educational programming and community connection. Shepherd's Center participants can retain independence by getting rides to important destinations and help with home maintenance, lend their time and talents as volunteers, develop new interests and gain valuable information through programs. All of these things allow adults to enhance and create important community connections.

As an example, a new volunteer at our Shepherd's Center near St. Louis came on-board recently because she had utilized the transportation program when she had a recent illness. When interviewed, she said that she would like to begin slowly. She was invited to an initial group volunteering event and made friends quickly. Within two months she was working in the office one day per week, helping with educational programs and using her career marketing expertise to successfully solicit items for a yearly fundraiser! She found a critical connection with us that enriches her life and the lives of those she touches.

I am grateful for my association with Shepherd's Centers of America. It has added purpose and meaning to my life as well.

Advisor

Rating: 5

I have consulted with the Shepherd’s Centers of America and their incredible network for over 3 years, and I am always impressed with their passion for the mission and their commitment to best practices and true service. Their programs offer endless -- and meaningful -- opportunities for older adults to enhance and maintain personal connections that make their lives enriched and robust. I call them SCA network strong!

Sandy D.2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been with Shepherd’s Center for 6+ years and I am so proud of the unique programs we provide for active adults. When most discussions and services on aging focus on failing health and age related illnesses and disabilities, Shepherd's Centers across the country focus on ACTIVE aging, remaining independent and continuing to be important community citizens. Our network, lead by Shepherd's Centers of America, provides high quality educational programs, an opportunity to travel with small groups, important life-building services, or the opportunity to receive or volunteer to provide services that are specific to each community we serve.
These centers make it possible to enjoy retirement, stay connected, learn and grow while developing friendships ...always at an affordable or free cost... in a lively, multi-faith based environment. We are efficient, fiscally sound, and well-tuned to the people we support. I am proud to be associated with Shepherd’s Centers!

Board Member

Rating: 5

I started with Shepherd's Center of Greenbrier Valley about 6 years ago. First as an Executive Assistant and these past 4 years as Executive Director. Each year I am more impressed with the Shepherd's Centers of America. There are nearly 60 centers throughout the United States and yet we work as one. There is a wonderful networking system through our national center and there is support for our local centers. You can reach out to other centers, executive directors, etc. if you have questions or want more information. There is always someone to turn to.
It makes our jobs easier so that we can reach out to the older adults in our communities and help them to face the aging process head on. We offer many services to help them remain active physically, spiritually and mentally. This in turn leads to a happy healthy life as they age. It truly makes a difference in so many lives of our older adults! We are so proud to be associated with Shepherd's Centers of America!

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am associated with Shepherd's Center Greenbrier Valley and we are part of the national association - Shepherd's Centers of America. It is a wonderful organization working primarily with older adults and engaging them in an active lifestyle after retirement. There are currently 55 organizations under the umbrella of Shepherd's Centers of America. Our national association is very helpful in providing our organizations with excellent resources, starting new centers, sharing ideas among the existing centers, etc. As our elder population increases, the Shepherd's Center provides an alternative to just sitting down and giving up. Our seniors are very active and hep others who are aging through educational classes, delivering meals to home bound adults, transportation to older adults who can no longer drive, etc. This is all orchestrated by the Shepherd's Centers of America. It is a very worthwhile organization and we are very proud to be a part of this group!

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

Shepherd’s Centers provide valuable services, including transportation, friendly visits, or help around the house at no cost to older adults. But more important is the friendships that form! These are priceless and have an overwhelming positive effect on everyone involved. I have been with my Shepherd’s Center for five years as a volunteer driver and board member and I am proud to be associated with this wonderful service organization!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am the Executive Director of the Peninsula Shepherd Center in San Diego and am so excited to be a part of this organization and network! As a new Director I appreciated the information and guidance that SCA provided. Our mission at The Peninsula Shepherd Center is to keep seniors independent and active in their homes by providing transportation and socialization opportunities. We are the only senior center in our area and our services are vital. As we all know, the senior population overall is under-served and knowing that I have resources available with SCA is a great comfort as we embark on creating new programs. It has been so rewarding working with our seniors and seeing the bonds they have created in spending time together. The future looks bright!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been with Shepherd’s Center for 9 years (three years as Executive Director) and I am so proud to be a part of this organization and network! Our programs empower older adults to live in their own homes and communities and to give back to help others. These services are often the simple things that make a huge difference in connecting older adults. So many of our participants have told us that our programs "saved their life." This organization makes a HUGE impact in our Arkansas community.


Debra94

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Shepherd's Centers of America provides the tools for communities to establish an organization that is tailored to their own community. Resources are available online but also mentoring and peer assistance are encouraged between directors of centers so that "best practices" are learned. Their newsletters provide a wealth of information and plenty of "pats on the back" for centers that are excelling in meeting the needs of the elderly in their area. This non-profit is truly a champion of life-long learning and when that philosophy is disseminated becomes a wonderful resource. Shepherd's Centers are great places to volunteer and socialize.

Previous Stories
1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

People inquire regularly, "Is there a Shepherd's Center near where I live?" Shepherd's Center of America is about extending the quality of life for seniors, keeping them actively engaged in their communities, physically fit and continually learning. It's also about serving and taking responsibility for the success of the organization. Volunteers are empowered to serve the very people they walk beside - what goes around comes around. Helping seniors to be self-sufficient, givers as well as receivers, is a great legacy to perpetuate.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been on the Board of Directors of our local Shepherd's Center for 4 years and I am very proud to be involved in this non-profit. Other organizations that I am a part of do not give so much to so many people and change their lives for the better. Our Adventures in Learning programs are outstanding with very talented retired professors from our local colleges and universities giving fascinating lectures that keep our seniors' minds active. In addition, there are many other activities that keep our seniors physically active and involved, including games, and travel opportunities. Lastly, and I think best of all, are the wide range of computer classes offered that keep our seniors alert online - so they are safe from online predators who try to profit from unaware seniors by stealing their identities or finances online - a true threat today!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Finding a place for us (older folks) to fit in and continue to experience a fulfilling life is not always easy. SCA through the network of Shepherd Centers around the country provide high quality programs targeted to our interests and age group. I can't think of anything more important to this demographic. Thanks SCA!

Advisor

Rating: 5

Shepherd's Centers are the most wonderful resource for senior adults if you are looking to connect with peers, learn new things, exercise, or share your own gifts and talents in an atmosphere of love, acceptance and excitement! I love the line dancing at our Shepherd's Center!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering with older adults is fun and provides purpose. It is a wonderful way to gain greater insight into the barriers for aging adults, including age discrimination. The simple act of helping an older adult get to a physician’s appointment and to pick up prescriptions can help that individual avoid a re-hospitalization which can be very costly. Importantly, the joy of helping and forming personal friendships is priceless.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

It is challenging to help care for an aging parent long distance. Knowing there are caring volunteers who are willing to help offers a great deal of comfort. Shepherd’s Center services address a range of issues that help keep older adults living in their own homes – where they most want to be—longer. From enriching educational classes to transportation to the doctor or help around the house, older adults can enjoy and benefit from social connections that enhance quality of life.

Shepherd’s Center services have additional impact. By offering volunteer support at no charge, older adults can avoid scams and the cost is far less than other older adult living solutions. Every community should have a Shepherd’s Center!

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Elderly adults are an underserved population, so finding an organization that cares so much and serves this community of adults so well is a blessing and a relief. They have been an excellent resource to our family, and the staff members are knowledgeable and compassionate.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

One of the biggest untold hardships in the U.S. is on seniors trying to "age in place". Often, their "home value" exceeds their savings, and they are of limited means. As they get older, they deplete or severely reduce what savings they have. At the same time, physical age takes its toll. Driving becomes difficult or even dangerous. Technology like cell phones and computers become too complicated to deal with. Financial management seems overwhelming. Even simple home maintenance like replacing light bulbs can become problematic. Seniors spend more and more time (and money) on health appointments. And as their friends die or leave, seniors can become more and more isolated socially.

SCA works across the whole spectrum of aging in place issues to try to provide support to those who wish to age in the homes they love - and SCA does it at a community level. Through locally run SCA affiliates, community residents volunteer and provide needed support to their neighbors facing the issues of aging in place. Through one to one service, both seniors and volunteers get emotional gratification. And by serving at the community level, one on one, services are geared to the needs of the community and its seniors. The cost is much lower than would be required to place all these seniors in nursing homes or assisted living, and their quality of life is so much better.

If you want to touch lives, and be touched yourself as well as make a meaningful contribution in the lives of others, consider volunteering with a Shepherd's Center in your community. If you don't have a Shepherd's Center, consider starting one.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I was introduced to SCA in 2000 through leadership training given by Dr. Elbert Cole. His passion for helping older adults continue a purposeful life by helping one neighbor at a time was beyond measure. It’s so simple and impactful. All those who help and are helped through this organization are the true spirit of America!

Previous Stories
2

Board Member

Rating: 5

Shepherd's Centers are excellent organizations! They bring out the best in each person involved. It is a prime example of how different people can join together to serve the community in a very special way. Recently I was asked how do you get congregations and people of different backgrounds and ages to work together? I believe it is a passion for the mission and we often speak of Shepherd's Center miracles. If you want to add meaning to your life, start a Shepherd's Center! Help older neighbors remain independent and included in community through friendly volunteers.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have participated in several collaborative conferences sponsored by Shepherd's Center of American and am fully committed to their mission of supporting seniors in their quest to "live a life that matters". As a longtime board member of a local Shepherd's Center, I have witnessed the dedication this organization has to furthering this mission throughout the country. Sarah Cheney, the SCA Executive Director, is a very impressive leader for this organization and the cause.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Shepherd’s Centers of America has changed lives through the decades - empowering older adults to be the best they can be through life long learning and a model of older adults helping other older adults to remain in their own homes safely with simple supports and meaningful relationships. Please recognize this incredible non-profit for its visionary philosophy and leadership. Shepherd’s Centers of America if highly respected by the participants, surrounding communities and organizations- to include health care- for making lives better. Providing a life changing model of “something for the head, the heart and the hands,” they make the difference in living life both quantitatively and qualitatively. Simply exceptional. Thank you for considering SCA for this well deserved and meaningful recognition. Sincerely, Gina Gavin, RN, BSN, MPA, NCSN.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My husband and I love the Adventures in Learning program offered at the Shepherd Center of Oakton/Vienna! It’s great to have such stimulating and interesting programs nearby. We’ve even given some of the lectures! We also attend Lunch ‘nLife programs. It’s a wonderful organization and I’ve met such interesting people!

Advisor

Rating: 5

The Shepherd's Centers of America has provided wonderful assistance to our Shepherd's Center of Oakton/Vienna, of which we have been board members since its beginning, twenty years ago. We recently retired to give younger members the wonderful opportunity to serve and we now are on their Advisory Committee. No matter what questions asked or advice requested, The Shepherd's Center of America was always there to guide us. This has helped us develop many programs for assisting older adults to stay in their homes as long as they can and provided guidance in developing other Shepherd's Centers in our area.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Providing services to enable lower and middle income seniors to live independently in their own homes for as long as possible is an increasingly important service in the over 50 communities in which our Shepherd's Centers operate. SCA and the Shepherd's Center of Oakton-Vienna has started a veterans initiative to expand and tailor our existing Friendly Callers and Visitors service to recruit more veteran volunteers and veteran clients in an effort to address the veteran suicide issue. The services and programs we offer provide opportunities to volunteer, become part of a critical mission, engage in fellowship and enhance connections in our communities--all activities that help reduce feelings of isolation and depression that can lead to suicidal thoughts. As the responsibility for providing these vital programs and services continues to shift from governments at all levels to private community organizations, such as the Shepherd's Centers, the support of individuals and businesses within these communities becomes more important than ever before. Visit www.shepherdcenters.org to see how you can get involved with SCA or a local Shepherd's Center in your community.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This is such a great organization and every city in America needs to have a Shepherd's Center serving older adults in that community. Their services within our community, such as free transportation to medical appointments, provides a assistance to older adults who no longer drive. They also have social events, such as luncheons with speakers and classes that get older adults to meet others their own age. All of these supportive programs help older adults remain living independently in their own homes as long as possible. The Shepherd's Centers network in cities across America is a real bonus for those communities, especially since we are living longer and want to remain connected.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Such a great organization to volunteer for. We love our volunteers.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We just love the Shepherd's Center organization. They have wonderful programs and services to help our neighbors and family engage in their community, have educational opportunities and share fellowship. They always go above and beyond to provide support and caring for all of the older adults they serve.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Shepherd's Centers of America provides valuable support to the more than fifty independent Shepherd's Centers nationwide and is continously helping to expand the network by assisting with the establishment of new centers. Aging in place is becoming a reality for more and more older adults through the efforts of organizations like Shepherd's Centers of America and the individual Shepherd's Centers.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Shepherd's Centers of America is providing an invaluable resource to communities all over America, both large and small. With their (1) service arm that addresses such things as drivers, handy helpers, friendly visitors, and others, these Centers help Seniors (50 and over) live more productive and meaningful lives in their own homes. At the same time they utilize the skills, knowledge, creativity and wisdom of those who are retire and who otherwise might be not used or ignored. (2) Adventures In Learning (AIL) is a boon for Seniors. The classes provide a wide and diverse range of learning experiences for Seniors plus it affords them a great opportunity to broaden their social connections as well.

The fact that it is a non-profit makes it more available to people who cannot afford such things as the Beacon Hill and other agencies. Because it is non-profit it demands volunteers from the very people that it is designed to serve. That in itself is a great PLUS!

Shepherd's Centers of America is a national treasure that should be established in every state in the country. I've been associated with SCA for the past 21 years and have lost NONE of my enthusiasm for it and it's purpose.

Board Member

Rating: 5

SCA is a jewel--enhancing the lives of thousands of elderly folks nationwide.
The education and service role SCA plays in each of the Affiliate communities is irreplaceable.
Hope to see more of you there in the near future.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I retired while living in Northeast Ohio and moved to the sunny south - settling in Florence, SC. What a good choice - as they appreciate Seniors and provide many opportunities to become involved with other retirees and local seniors. I am very active in many volunteer opportunities and social groups, so you should understand that when I single out the Shepherd's Center of the Pee Dee as being my favorite - it must be good.

First of all, it is the only 'faith based' senior group - and while that alone puts it at the top - it is made up of loving, kind wonderful ladies. There are so many activities, trips, great programs and best of all - good friends! We partner with our local library, the AARP Driver Safety Program and the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Program to provide worthwhile services we need.

We represent over 50 local churches among our membership and appreciate the one church who provides us with a facility to meet each week, September through May.

It is impossible to single out one photo or video to attach, but if you are ever lucky enough to be in our area - you MUST come and fellowship with us. J. Jackson

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We are in the process of establishing a Shepherd's Center locally in Royse City, Texas. Shepherd's Center of America has been incredibly helpful at every step. They have shared, without hesitation, best practices, avenues for obtaining resources and personal guidance and direction. They have been accommodating with schedules and with training and educational resources. Without their support and guidance we would still be trying to figure out first steps. Some critical advice led to being able to partner with the local governments and other local organizations.

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a past president of The Shepherd's Center of Greater Winston-Salem's Board and a member of the Shepherd's Centers of America Board, I have first-hand experience as to the value of the SCA to local Shepherd's Centers and their clientele. The SCA is very helpful with excellent training for staff and volunteers both at the local and national level. It is also a conduit to funding opportunities for local centers that may need an introduction, support in grant writing and training programs for staff and volunteers. The combined efforts help older adults remain active, healthy and in their homes.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

SCA is an excellent source of information and support for my community agency. By fostering the exchange of ideas, they help provide practical solutions and strategies that save me time and ensure our agency performs at its best. They are committed to the vision on which they were founded over 40 years ago – valuing and supporting older adults in their own homes and communities.

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a university professor in Sociology & Gerontology at our local university (University of Missouri-Kansas City), I have had many opportunities to interact with several of our local Shepherd Centers over the last 40 years--setting up service learning opportunities and internships for my students, engaging Shepherd Center leaders and participants in my classes, and serving both on one of the local boards and most recently on the national board. I have always considered the Shepherd Centers a prime model from which students can learn about the potential for growth that can come in life's later stages through volunteerism, engagement, and relationships of both giving and receiving aid and care. My whole career has been about countering the myth that aging is inevitably about decline, and the Shepherd Centers have provided me with a multitude of examples in this effort.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Shepherd’s Centers of America embodies each day through acts of dedicated service, how much they understand and care about the community they serve. Each staff member and volunteer strives in each interaction to engage in meaningful ways with those who need it most. Shepard's Centers of America is successful in reaching those throughout their maturing years most assuredly because they understand building community capacity is one of the most important ingredients.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My family and I have been associated with SCA for about 15 years. Their support of programs and services in a variety of communities across the US enables people to age in their homes safely and with dignity. We have always been on the advocate and volunteer side of the equation, but this year our mother suffered a stroke. While it has been a very emotional time in our lives, we are fortunate we have the support of our local Shepherd’s Center to provide information on support groups, activities for fellowship, and referrals for educational information. We praise SCA for all they do to support this national network!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am a colleague of Shepherds Center of America. Recently, I have worked with Sara Chaney and several of the Directors planning and organizing the Shepherds Center of America and National Volunteer Caregiving Network National Conference. Sarah and the Directors have emerged as leaders, being faithful to serve, have a vision for the conference and organizing the details so participants will benefit greatly. The leaders of SCA are stellar and the accomplishments that each program provides not only benefits the seniors but the entire community that they serve.