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2016 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

52 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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

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!

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Shepherd's Center for almost a year now and am constantly seeing the benefits of having a local center in our county. We touch the lives of many in our community with transportation, meals, friendly visits, learning opportunities, etc. It is so rewarding to see this connection and how it impacts our seniors as well as the volunteers. I only hope that SCA continues to grow and be all across the United States.

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.

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!

1 Debra94

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.

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.

1

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.

1

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.