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2020 Top-Rated Nonprofit

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

87 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Very focused on continuing to help their "clients" through COVID. Constantly looking for new ideas and ways to help seniors. The National Staff keeps all in touch with each other across the country and asks good questions of speakers.

Amy Snipes C.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Shepherd’s Center of America is an wonderful Non-profit organization. They provide great support to their members who serve the senior citizen communities in all states.

Board Member

Rating: 5

There is magic happening at Shepherd's Centers of America and all the Shepherd's Centers across the country. Founded in 1972 by Dr. Elbert Cole on a revolutionary peer-based model 'of seniors, by seniors' for seniors', SC isn't your typical senior serving agency. SCA does a good job of being the hub for 56 separate Shepherd's Centers across the country, when we each have our own separate identities and programs. As an Executive Director for KC Shepherd's Center and a new SCA board member, I'm excited to have the opportunity to help build this wonderful organization to serve growing numbers of older adults with more complex needs.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Shepherd's Center of America has been a stabilizing force during this time of uncertainty. Our discussions with other network affiliates have enabled us to exchange ideas for practical solutions to better meet the challenges of connecting older adults with vital services. This support has assisted us in adapting our programs and services to the changing times, assuring that we continue to meet the needs of those we serve, at a time when they need us the most.
We are very thankful to be part of The Shepherd's Centers of America. The SCA network has united us together and helped us solve problems together.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Good Shepherd's Centers of America are making a meaningful impact in this world. Their commitment to supporting older adults is truly inspiring. They are making a difference each and every day. We have had an incredibly positive experience with their staff. Each team member has shown incredible dedication and enthusiasm in their work.

Advisor

Rating: 5

Widely recognized for its extraordinary programming, Shepherd's Centers of America provide an infrastructure through which adults can create a more purposeful and rewarding post-retirement life. Adults who have intellectual curiosity, exercise, engage with a social network and give back to their community remain healthier and happier than those who do not. Shepherd's Centers throughout America have adapted to the changing environment to keep their members active and engage while remaining safe and healthy.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Shepherd's Centers of America is a wonderful organization. Even during this health crisis they are connecting with older adults in safe and effective ways to reduce isolation and help older adults live their lives with dignity and respect.

Darren B.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have briefly volunteered at Shepherd's Centers of America. Shepherd's Centers of America has been crucial for helping older individuals through the age of lockdowns and the COVID-19 pandemic. The work that they provide for these people, from the educational activities that give older people the chance to participate, grow, and enjoy their time, and the social activities for their community, to the actions they take to help seniors feel more comfortable and secure in their own home during a time of great uncertainty. Sheperd's Centers of America is doing amazing work and is touching the lives of millions.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This organization is the flagship of our nationwide organization - they are amazing! They have helped all of the Shepherd's Centers across the nation to become stronger, more multifaceted and helped all of us to reach our goals of helping the seniors in our communities and in our country. This past year they have diligently striven to provide all of us with up-graded computer software and access by including us in a grant and pulling us together to work for a common cause. This alone will help many of our smaller sub-organizations to reach more seniors within their community, improve their delivery of services, better coordinate their volunteers and better thank those who help our organization. My hats off to this fine organization - so glad I am part of their team!

Board Member

Rating: 4

I got involved through playing Senior Bridge. Several years ago I was nominated for a position on the SCOC board and two years ago I became President. This is a great organization with a lot of wonderful seniors involved. We have had financial problems the past few years but we are making progress in streamlining our organization. It has become very difficult to get grant money so that we can be more involved with the senior community.

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
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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
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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.

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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.

Kirk3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Shepherd's Center of America continues to empower older adults to be in control of their independence and to remain a contributing member of their community. The wheels that care program is making a tremendous difference in the health of those older adults who are trying to live in their own homes by getting them to medical appointments and to be able to handle their own essental needs. At the same time, Shepherd's Center provides an outreach program to those who have retired but who are still looking for a way to give back, by simply still being able to drive. Great organization!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

“I first became involved with the Shepherd’s Center of Charlotte when I attended some of their Adventures In Learning programs, which are offered to seniors three times a year along with ongoing Technology Classes. I was particularly impressed with both the quality and selection of topics offered, and found it a great opportunity for me to meet other seniors with similar interests. I also have participated in some of the trips organized through the Travel Program, and have thoroughly enjoyed each experience. Realizing the many opportunities to serve trough the Shepherd’s Center, I decided to volunteer my time and energy. Currently, I am a driver for the Medical Transportation program and also volunteer one to two days a week in the office. I have really enjoyed getting to know the office staff and find it very satisfying to know that the volunteer work I am doing is so helpful to others.” Diane Larsen-Charlotte, NC

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Shepherds Centers provide invaluable services to older adults in the communities they serve. The Shepherd's Center of Webster-Kirkwood has provided transportation to medical appointments, simple home repair, seasonal yard cleanup, exercise classes and educational programs for older adults for 18 years. Volunteer driven, the Shepherd's Center encourages older adults to stay connected to their communities as well as enables them to remain active and independent in their homes. Every community needs a Shepherd's Center!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Shepherd's Centers of America serves a valuable role in supporting affiliate organizations across the country. As a staff member of an affiliate in Winston-Salem, NC, I have benefited from the educational opportunities and access to resources provided by SCA. The support we receive from SCA greatly enhances our programs and services for older adults in our community. The Executive Director is knowledgeable and accessible. All communications and materials from SCA reflect a commitment to excellence.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer with The Shepherd's Center of McLean-Arlington-Falls Church since 2010. I have provided rides for seniors in our area and found it to be personally rewarding when a rider thanks me and indicates if it were not for the Shepherd's Center they could not even get to see their doctor. Our center is made up of all volunteers (no paid staff) and I train all our new drivers in the use of our Ride Scheduler computer system. As I personally interview them I can attest our volunteers are a sincere, dedicated workforce and they are proud to be affiliated with the Shepherd's Center of America.

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Board Member

Rating: 5

The Shepherd's Center of McLean-Arlington-Falls Church in Northern Virginia has, since September 2006, been providing vital transportation services to seniors citizens in its service area. Commercial transportation is too expensive for most seniors and providing free rides to medical and therapy appointments, the pharmacy and grocery has been a life saver for hundreds of seniors. In 2013, the Center provided 896 rides to medical appointments. That number rose to 1,507 in 2014 and 2015 figures shows that number will increase to anywhere between 2,100 - 2,200. Those numbers will only increase in the years ahead making efforts to recruit more volunteers vital. The Center also has a handy helpers program to do minor chores in and around seniors' homes plus a friendly caller and visitor program to let seniors know they have not been forgotten.

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Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

If you're looking for a ministry for seniors, a nonprofit that walks along side the aging adult, Shepherd's Center is the place to go. Not only do the various centers across the U.S. do a wonderful job of keeping seniors active and engaged, but they also seek creative ways to assist them when they need help. SCA does a fine job as the umbrella organization that disseminates information and encourages the various centers so they can become the best they can be at their mission.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Shepherd Center of Greensboro thrives as our older adults continue to demand independence, life long learning skills, a network of interesting and diverse people and an ability to still make a difference in this world. Whether in the capacity of volunteer, activity leader or participant, all of our adults bring energy, curiosity and their personal gifts to the work of this super group!

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Sheperds Center of Lexington S.C. is a great addition to our community. Our seniors need the opportunity to not only stay active but to also learn and share with each other. The strong bonds that are created via the center are very important to the longevity health and mental viability of our seniors.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been privileged to be associated with various Shepherd's Centers and Shepherd's Centers of America for over 36 years. As a professor of nursing, I have always used this wonderful model of positive aging to help students shed their misconceptions and negative attitudes towards older people. In their clinical experiences and with stories and visits from Shepherd's Center leaders, they see first hand the tremendous resource we have in elders. Whether helping retired nurses give flu shots, attending Alzheimer's Support Groups, delivering Meals on Wheels, or doing yoga stretches with limber 90 year-olds, relationships develop that transform their thinking. It is impossible for them to see elders actively engaged in life-long learning, meaningful volunteer roles, and caring for one another without having higher expectations for their older patients in the hospital. Their expectations are raised, and they even become more positive about their own aging process!
The work and mission of Shepherd's Centers of America is important, as it promotes the development and success of Centers across the country. I heartily endorse it as one of the top national leaders in the field of Aging.

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Board Member

Rating: 5

As former Executive Director of the only west coast Shepherd Center and a current National Board Member for Shepherd's Centers of America (SCA), I have seen and helped to facilitate the work being done in support of quality of life issues for America's seniors. SCA's National Executive Director, Sarah Cheney works tirelessly in her efforts to build and support our nationwide network of senior centers. SCA senior centers provide a variety of senior services depending on the needs of the community it serves including meals, transportation, life enrichment, referral services and social engagement. Most services are not paid for by the senior as programs are fully funded through individual and corporate donors. Volunteers have always been and continue to be the life line of many Shepherd Centers.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer of 15 years I have always found my work fulfilling. I am a driver and I do other volunteer jobs. The volunteering is always a fulfilling experience. Helping other seniors through the Shepherd's Center has given me great satisfaction. As a participant in programs offered at our Shepherd's Center, I have always learned from and enjoyed the experience. I am currently on the board and serve in many other capacities. No matter what my health status is, there will always be a place for me at Shepherd's Center. Every community needs a Shepherd's Center!

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is a great organization that has helped so many. They have earned the respect and trust of people all around the country from different walks of life. This model of older people learning, growing, giving and serving the community is inspiring!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Shepherd's Center is my "Happy Place" and I have been volunteering for 15 years. I first met Dr. Cole in 1998 at a luncheon and I just remember thinking that's really cool! Young seniors helping older seniors. When our ministries were expanded, I volunteered to work at our Resource Desk and I've been there ever since. Shepherd's Center gives me a purpose and contributes to the good of the community. St. Louis JJ

2 Bill94

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been involved with SCA for over 20 years--beginning before I was a senior myself. My early involvement was largely due to the respect I held for the leaders, including Dr. Cole, who had a vision about a new way of thinking about aging. Since then I have never ceased to marvel at the amount of volunteer energy that SCA brings to bear on helping older citizens live fuller, more successful lives. And I'm further impressed that in spite of being an organization for elders the organization continues to re-invent itself year after year to stay in touch with newly emerging issues and concepts.
Bill Eddy

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When I retired and relocated to South Carolina I found a newly formed senior group - The Shepherd's Center of the Pee Dee. It was also new to the community and once I found it - I reorganized my week to make sure nothing conflicted with Shepherd's Center Day. I have met so many wonderful friends who have also recently retired and relocated and now I am part of a very large "family". There are so many things to become involved in and the group continues to grow. I appreciate that it is available and does so many worthwhile activities and helps so many in our community. Our speakers add so much to our knowledge of the area, the programs we help, the fun and friendships we have grown. Thanks SCA for all you do for me and my South Carolina family!

JJ

2 wmekmf04

Board Member

Rating: 5

When I retired, I wanted give something back to the community by volunteering for some good cause. The Shepherd Center provided me with a wonderful opportunity to drive older adults, who could no longer drive themselves, to doctors appointments. It served the seniors who needed the rides and it provided me with the wonderful feeling and satisfaction that goes along with helping someone in need. I am sold on the idea that the Shepherd Center is a great way to give back to your community through volunteerism and I encourage others to do the same. The need to help seniors is there and growing. And you will be greatly rewarded for the few hours of your time you dedicate to providing a service. Let's start more Shepherd Centers so more volunteers can help our seniors across the country!

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I retired early and was looking for a way to do some volunteer work. The Shepherd's Center gave me the perfect opportunity to give back at my own pace. I became a medical driver for those who could not drive themselves to their doctor appointments. The riders were so thankful, I felt good about it and the organization grew. A win-win-win. I am a real fan of the Shepherd's Centers - they make meaningful volunteer opportunities available and make such a positive contribution to our older neighbors.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been involved with SCA for the past 40 years. I have gained greater knowledge of older adults and their concerns by facilitating an Adventures in Learning program on medicine update at Shepherd's Center Central in Kansas City, MO. Participants learn rational, safe, effective and economical use of their medications in an atmosphere that is interactive and friendly with discussion and answers. I am proud of the ways SCA promotes successful aging in communities around America.

1 MikeWardSC

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I learned about the Shepherd's Center of Lexington, SC in October 2012. I was invited to attend a class and observe how the Adventures in Learning program operated. During my visit I was asked to stand and talk to the class about my knowledge with technology. That quickly moved from a short discussion to two years of me instructing classes at the Center. Almost one year after diving into volunteering my time as an instructor, I was asked to become a Board member. I really enjoy serving on the board and helping the Center grow. I was honestly surprised at how helpful the staff at Shepherds Centers of America is. No matter what we need, Teresa or Sarah are there to help. The Shepherds Centers of America office provides a ton of helpful information to support the Centers located throughout the entire USA. Without their direction, our entire organization would not be nearly as strong as it is today.