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Northwest Valley Community Area

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March 2018





Contact: Kathy Chandler

Executive Director/ Mobility Manager



Northwest Valley Connect Conducting ‘Drive’ For Volunteers


Sun City, AZ. March 2018 – Do you like driving? How about volunteering? If you answered yes, then nonprofit Northwest Valley Connect (NVC) has a “wheel of a deal” for you.

NVC is looking for volunteer drivers to help older or disabled adults get to and from medical appointments, trips to the pharmacy or grocery store or for other local errands. The program currently has more riders than drivers.  Drive your own vehicle or one of NVCs and give the gift of mobility to an older adult or person with a disability. Hours and area are flexible.  NVC provides trips for clients in the west valley in the Sun Cities area and Surprise but also in Goodyear and Avondale.

NVC is also recruiting volunteers for the following positions.

Call Center Operators:  Answer calls and provide personalized assistance in our call center. Provide information about available transportation services in the area to link callers to available transportation services. Provide warm transfers to connect callers to transportation partners. Four hour shifts are available.

Project Assistants:  Work from home putting together reports, assisting with newsletters, delivering brochures and more.

To volunteer or for more information contact Kathy Chandler at 623-282-9300 or

Northwest Valley Connect (NVC) is a nonprofit transportation coordination service for residents of the Northwest Valley. It was formed by local nonprofits Sun Health and Benevilla to address gaps in transportation services for area residents. Working with government, private, nonprofit and volunteer transportation providers, NVC aims to increase awareness of existing transportation resources and add transportation options where gaps exist. With more than 100,000 seniors living in the area, and a rapidly aging population, NVC does more than just help people get where they want to go.. It helps people maintain their independence.  



I Took a Ride and Learned a Lot


It was a day when I didn’t have a golf game scheduled.  The dispatcher from Northwest Valley Connect called to see if I would volunteer to transport two clients, both of whom needing a round trip to two separate locations between 8:00AM and about Noon.


Northwest Valley Connect is a Board of Directors-administered nonprofit organization with an office in Sun City.  Kathy Chandler is the Executive Director and one of two paid staff who are trying to bring public funded transportation to the West Valley.  Currently, there are volunteer drivers who after being screened through interview and fingerprint background check, drive people to places they want to go.  This agency is truly filling a void in services for West Valley residents’ transportation needs.


I was assigned to drive a Honda 6 passenger vehicle was donated to NVC about a year ago from Surprise Honda.  The driving assignment was to go pick up Linda (not her real name) and take her to her beauty shop appointment at 8:30 AM.  I arrived to meet Linda in the alley behind her Sun City condo.  She had a walker and appeared to have great difficulty moving about without her walker.  After a slow and determined effort, she assumed the shotgun seat in the Honda.  On the way to the hairdresser, Linda was effusive in thanking me for coming to take her to this appointment.  She said that she didn’t walk too well because she had two knees replaced and next week she would be going into the hospital to have a hip replacement.  The hair appointment, she said was to get a permanent in her hair as she wanted to look presentable at the hospital.  I asked how she usually gets to places like the beauty shop when she can’t arrange a ride.  She said that she doesn’t call for cabs because the cabbies won’t provide the time and assistance she needs to complete the trip.  Linda shared that her relatives do not take her to places she wants to go and that she had been using her motorized wheelchair to get to the beauty shop.  I took note that the beauty shop was about 4 miles away from her residence and required crossing Bell Road to complete the trip.  Linda allowed that, yes, the battery on the wheelchair sometimes almost runs down and that everyone she knows tells her crossing Bell Road in the wheelchair is dangerous.  Linda was all smiles when we got to the beauty shop.  She informed me that she wouldn’t be ready to return home for at least 2 hours and would asked if I would wait or be back for her in 2 hours.  I was fortunate to have trip number two waiting to be picked up.


Trip number 2 was Charlie, a gentleman I guessed to be in his early 80’s, who also used a walker.  He, like Linda expressed thanks for the transportation being provided, but there was something very different about Charlie’s situation.  Charlie was to be picked up in time to go to a dialysis clinic approximately 15 minutes away from his home.  I was unclear if this was his home or just where he was staying.  His appointment was for 9:30 AM.  The dispatch sheet from NVC indicated a 9:00 AM pickup.  I arrived at 9:10AM.  Charlie was seated in an SUV in the driveway of the residence.  An unknown woman, the driver of the SUV, greeted me with an irritated announcement that I was late arriving to pick up Charlie.  Her demeanor indicated that it was a burden for her to have to take Charlie to his dialysis appointment.  After transferring into the NVC vehicle, Charlie was very quiet.  To make conversation during our quick ride to the clinic, I asked how long he had lived in Peoria, Arizona.  For the entire trip to the clinic, Charlie regaled me with the details of his graduating from High School and being sure that electronics was to be his avocation and vocation.   He came to Arizona to take specialized training in electronics.  I suspicioned that Charlie as young man in the 1950’s and 60’s, probably knew something about radar and guidance systems on planes or maybe even spaceships.  I asked what he did for his life’s work and he proudly said that he was the best television repairman there ever was.  I believe him.  He also said with little emotion, that having to do 3 hours of dialysis on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of every week didn’t bother him, but for others around him, it was different.  I vividly recall the lady who was so distressed while Charlie sat quietly in her SUV.  I’m sure Charlie observed what I had observed.  When the dialysis session was finished Charlie was tired and more than ready to return home.  I assisted Charlie out of the car and watched until someone answered the door to admit him.  Charlie was much more patient than I would have been as he had to ring the doorbell twice and all the while weakly clinging to his walker on the front porch.  I was irritated at that Charlie had to wait so long for someone to answer the door.  I thought about how uncomfortable this experience would be if it had been July and 115 degrees outside.   I hoped Charlie would be able to get to dialysis treatments, next week and next month.


I learned that there are people living in the West Valley that need transportation services to meet medical, social, and basic needs.  If Charlie does not have access to transportation, he won’t have dialysis treatment.  Without the treatment, most likely he will be dead within a week or two once treatment is terminated.  If Linda can’t take pride in her appearance, and is isolated, she will quickly loose hope and feel unvalued.  Such losses are devastating.


NVC is also making a great effort to advocate to The Arizona Legislature, Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, and all elected officials to support increased public transportation in Maricopa West valley locations.  When it is time for you to hang up your car keys, wouldn’t it be nice to have established public transportation routes to get to the recreation center, doctor appointments, grocery store, drug store and other places?  We need to insist that our elected representatives plan for our transportation issues now.  While it is important to have roads and bridges, we also need our bus routes, trolley routes and perhaps our driverless technology transportation planned. 


Providing transportation for Seniors and persons with handicap and disability issues is a valuable and rewarding volunteer opportunity. 


Drivers, call center workers, and office volunteers are needed ay North Valley Connect.  Call 623-282-9300 to offer your assistance.


David Wilson, Volunteer

Northwest Valley Connect


Northwest Valley



Benevilla and Sun Health, two nonprofit agencies in the Northwest Valley, are partnering closely with older adults to create exciting new opportunities for older adults to live even better lives. They are here to make information easier to find, connections easier to make, and assistance easier to obtain. There are many resources in the Northwest Valley now. This new effort will integrate the best of what the Northwest Valley has to offer and complement these assets with innovative new services that keeps people connected to each other, their community, and what they need to live a good life.

Northwest Valley Connect (NVC) is a nonprofit transportation coordination service whose mission is to provide personalized support to connect area residents with available transportation services, while developing new transportation options to overcome existing service gaps. Its vision is to advocate, facilitate and coordinate accessible, adequate transportation resources in the northwestern region of the Phoenix metropolitan area, thereby promoting quality of life among the residents it serves.

Contact Information: Kathryn Chandler- Executive Director/ Mobility Manager email

phone- 623-282-9304

Sun City, Sun City West, Peoria, Surprise, El Mirage, Youngtown and now in Goodyear, Buckeye and Avondale.

Opportunities to Get Involved:
Northwest Valley Connect is recruiting volunteers to help develop new options designed to serve older adults in the Northwest Valley.

September 18, 2014 was the launch of Northwest Valley Connect’s One Call One Click Mobility Center.  Birt’s Bistro hosted the event.  Speakers for the event include Michelle Dionisio- Benevilla’s President, Jennifer Drago – Sun Health’s Executive Vice President of Population Health, Kathryn Chandler – Executive Director/Mobility Manager and Ron Brooks – Manager of Accessible Transit Services.  The Mobility Center is equipped with a database that includes all of the transportation providers in the area and information that enables the Call Agents to assist caller with their transportation needs.  Our website has the same database set up for users to find the information themselves and our phone number for further assistance.  623-282-9300




  Northwest Valley Connect Participates in Nonprofits Day at Legislature


Two board members from Northwest Valley Connect, board chair Bonnie Boyce-Wilson and advocacy chair Sharon Hettick attended the 2018 Day of Advocacy organized by the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits on January 24, 2018. The Alliance is a unifying association formed in 2004 to advance the common interests of more than 20,000 nonprofits in Arizona, representing more than 150,000 employees and 500,000 volunteers. The Alliance currently serves more than 1,000 member organizations in all legislative and congressional districts throughout Arizona.


Overall, the Alliance supports public policy which contributes to a sound economy, promotes economic well-being for all residents, protects vulnerable populations, preserves our unique land and climate, and advances our common efforts to solve public problems. It is these overarching public goals which drive the work of Arizona’s nonprofits, and the Alliance urges policy makers to effectively engage nonprofits as partners in addressing public policy issues.


In a recent Arizona Nonprofit Economic Impact Report updated with data from 2016, the nonprofit sector generates nearly 8% of the state’s Gross State Product (GNP), contributing more than $23.5 billion to the SGP, positioning its contribution on a par with the state’s entire hospitality trade.


Nonprofits are Arizona’s 5th largest non-government employer, responsible for 332,032 jobs. They directly employ 171,172 paid staff and are also responsible for an additional 160,860 indirect/induced jobs through their presence and operations in Arizona. This means an additional 6,000 jobs within the state can be directly or indirectly attributed to nonprofits today, compared to 2014. Employees at Arizona’s nonprofits earned $8.3 billion wages and salaries in 2016, more than the state’s wholesale and construction trades.


Nonprofit revenue is generated by philanthropic contributions, earned revenue, fees for service and government contracts. Arizona’s 22,832 registered nonprofits collectively generated approximately $31 billion in revenue. Contributions, gifts, and grants from individuals, foundations, trusts, and private companies account for 27.3% of nonprofit sector revenue.


Nonprofits have an important economic and social impact on Arizona and today met with legislators to provide the economic impact statistics as well as advocating for specific legislation. NVC board members met with Representative Ben Toma, LD22, to discuss nonprofit concerns as well as advocate for support of initiatives aimed at bringing public transit into the west valley.











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January 2, 2018




Contact: Kathy Chandler

Executive Director/ Mobility Manager


Northwest Valley Connect groups go shopping!


SURPRISE, ARIZ. – Nonprofit Northwest Valley Connect (NVC) is offering group trips to shopping malls and more through its Group Connect program. 


Arrowhead Mall & Crossings (Target/ Hobby Lobby) - Cost $7

Bell Rd and 83rd Ave – shop: Claire’s, Macy’s, Dillard’s, JC Penney & Sears, Target, Jo-Ann, Hobby Lobby, DSW Shoes, Nordstrom Rack, Old Navy, T-J Maxx

Tuesday - January 2, 2018, February 6, 2018, March 6, 2018


Tanger Outlet Mall and Desert Diamond Casino- Cost $10

9431 W Northern Ave, Glendale or 6800 N. 95th Ave., Glendale - Stores include H & M, Van Heusen-Izod Golf, Just Sports, Kitchen Collection, Easy Spirit, Brooks Brothers, and Lane Bryant.

Tuesday – January 9, 2018, February 13, 2018, March 20, 2018


Surprise Towne Center & Marketplace – Cost $7

13719 & 13732 W Bell Rd Surprise – shop Walmart, Michaels, Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, Ross and more.

Tuesday January 16, 2018


Lake Pleasant Towne Center – Cost $10

9940 W Lake Pleasant Parkway, Peoria – Kohl’s, Ross, Bath & Body Works, Sprouts, Famous Footwear and more.

Tuesday January 23, 2018


Wickenburg - $12

Shops and restaurants, Museum and outdoor fun. 

Tuesday January 30, 2018


Scottsdale Fashion Square- Cost $12

Scottsdale Fashion Square is an upscale, super-regional luxury shopping mall

Tuesday - February 20, 2018



Tuesday February 27, 2018 – 1:10pm Game - San Diego Padres & Seattle Mariners @ Peoria Sports Complex

Call 623-773-8720 for game tickets

Tuesday March 13, 20181:10pm Game - San Diego Padres & Chicago Cubs @ Peoria Sports Complex - call 623-773-8720 for game tickets



MOVIE DAY - AMC @ Arrowhead Mall – cost $7

Bell Rd and 83rd Ave - Relax with a movie of your choice. 

Tuesday – March 27, 2018



For reservations call 623-282-9300 or email

Northwest Valley Connect (NVC) is a nonprofit transportation coordination service for residents of the northwest region of the Phoenix metropolitan area. NVC is recruiting volunteers at this time.  Please call 623-282-9300.




Transportation Stakeholders & NVC Stand UP 4 Transportation!

Stand Up 4 Transportation is a national day of recognition to let your legislators know that transportation is important to you!
Public transportation provides much needed mobility in large metropolitan regions, medium and small cities, and rural communities.
Stay tuned for our event in the NorthwestValley.

Mahjong Anyone?

Peggy is 85 years young.  She moved here from back east and was always very active in her community.  She loves to play Mahjong and found a game in Scottsdale but her daughter in law can’t always take her.  It is just too far away.  Peggy called looking for a ride to her doctor and to temple.  But when Mickey, the call center volunteer heard about Peggy’s Mahjong game she started looking for a game closer to Peggy’s home.  We sent the ‘help’ email out to the ‘Transportation Stakeholders Group’ and were directed to a number of options—one turned out to be the perfect fit for Peggy.  Happy Ending! 

New Shelter for Sun City


October 27th was the first day of the Expanded Route 138 and the first day of this route using the new and only Bus Shelter in Sun City at 105th Avenue and Santa Fe Drive.  Northwest Valley Connect facilitated a Ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate this step forward for Public transit in the Northwest Valley.  Route 138 was expanded with stops on Thunderbird from 59th Avenue west to connect to Route 106 at the Shelter at 105th Avenue and Santa Fe Drive.  Joyce Stoffers the Sun City resident who suggested the shelter is cutting the ribbon. 

Wulkan Foundation grants $10k to Northwest Valley Connect


SURPRISE, ARIZ. – Dec. 3, 2014 – Northwest Valley Connect (NVC), a nonprofit transportation coordination service, recently received a $10,000 grant from the Wulkan Foundation, a like-minded organization dedicated to helping older adults find transportation options.
The grant was awarded to NVC by Beverly Wulkan, an experienced civil engineer and transit expert, well-acquainted with the challenges older adults often face when planning
local trips to doctors, the pharmacy, the grocery store, social engagements and other appointments and errands.
Wulkan explained why she chose NVC as the recipient of the grant: “First, Northwest Valley Connect is helping seniors find options to their transportation needs, which is a match with the foundation’s mission. Second, having been involved in nonprofit organizations, I understand that a little extra money is always helpful with new programs.” The Wulkan Foundation was started by her husband Alan Wulkan in 2013.

Beverly Wulkan works as a project controls specialist and project manager for transit at AECOM, an international infrastructure and support services firm. She first heard about NVC last year while attending a transit and transportation conference (AzTA) in Tucson. She was considering charities around the same time and NVC seemed like a good candidate for a grant.

“It’s really special to get a grant from someone who knows the ins and outs of transportation,” NVC Executive Director Kathy Chandler said. “It means a lot.” 

One of NVC’s goals is to address identified gaps in transportation for seniors using paid and volunteer drivers. According to Chandler, the grant will go toward screening and training volunteer drivers for the program.

“We’re here to increase awareness of existing transportation services and to help residents choose the best travel options,” Chandler said. “We also want to coordinate with existing providers and to bridge service gaps with new and affordable transportation options.”


Northwest Valley Connect’s Call Center stats:


Found a Ride vs Left Home

After two months our Call Center has received about 240 calls.  Calls have come in from all of the area cities such as Surprise, Sun City West, Sun City, Peoria, El Mirage, Youngtown, Sun City Grand, Glendale and Phoenix.  We have received calls from as far away as Mesa, Anthem, and Avondale.  Our Call Agents were able to refer 63% of our callers to a provider for their trips.  37% of the callers asked for a trip that the Call Agent was unable to find a provider for. 

Our call Center has determined the gaps in service to be in four categories:

Þ Out of Area (trips that go out of the Dial A Ride areas so across city lines)

Þ After hours (evenings and weekends when Dial A  Ride doesn’t run)

Þ Low Income (trips for shopping, etc that are not covered by Dial  A Ride)

Þ Same Day trips (when there is not space on the Dial A Ride)


What’s next!


Northwest Valley Connect will offer Volunteer Driver Transportation and a Group Trips program starting in January 2015. 


Our Volunteer Drivers will go through a background check, defensive driving training, Passenger Service and Safety training and will be offered mileage reimbursement.  Callers will go through an application process, will be input into our routing software and then will be able to call in for a ride and if the Call Agent is unable to find them a provider they will be scheduled with one of our volunteer drivers. 

The Group Trips will be facilitated through the Call Center .  Northwest Valley Connect will be working with partners to plan the group trips to places such as the Arrowhead Mall, Birt’s Bistro and other places requested by the groups.

Is this for you:

1. If you are interested in the Group Trips going to the Mall, Shopping, Events etc. please call 623-282-9300 for more information. 

2. If you are in need of transportation and are interested in the volunteer driver program call 623-282-9300 for more information. 

3. If you are interested in volunteering for Northwest Valley Connect as a volunteer Driver or as a Call Center Operator please Call Kathy Chandler at 623-282-9304




About Us

The Greater Phoenix Age-Friendly Network is a partnership hosted by the Maricopa Association of Governments, a regional planning agency serving the Greater Phoenix area. We are committed to ensuring every person can live a fulfilled life at any age, connected to family, friends, and community.

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Phone: 602-452-5074
Fax: 602-254-6490

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