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NVC July Newsletter

Ronni D Hoover  | Published on 7/3/2021

BOARD CHAIR LETTER-Julie Kent-Partridge

Happy July 2021 everyone! This is my first newsletter as Board Chair and wanted to take a moment to tell you all how thrilled I am about this opportunity. Northwest Valley Connect has always held a special place in my heart due to the passion that all have who serve this organization. I look forward to this continued service although done through a different role.

I am hoping that all of you are staying cool, spending lots of time with family and are practicing great self-care techniques. Like Bonnie mentioned in last month’s newsletter, the world is finally opening up. We are all determining new norms and adjusting as we can. Speaking of adjusting, I want to say a special thank you to Steve and Kathy for the amazing work they did last week as it applies to the West Valley drive by shootings that many experienced last week. The fast acting they both did to triage our callers and assist our drivers was amazing! Thank you again for this service. No matter how much crisis training a person or establishment is provided, a situation like this and how it is handled is the ultimate test.

As we look ahead in the coming months, a couple things that I will be looking at accomplishing are: discussing the Motors and Meals/Heels fundraiser, digging deeper into the DDD arena and offering assistance on how we can bridge these gaps as it applies to securing contracts etc.

I also look forward to working with Trudy to help build on the areas that she has started in regards to her grant writing efforts and any other areas she feels I can offer guidance. I also look forward to getting to know you all individually and hope to discover more opportunities for engagement. I am definitely ecstatic to be able to network more, get the word out about our organization which I hope will definitely draw more volunteer recruits etc. On that note of Volunteer recruits, WELCOME FRANCINE!! We are so glad to have you and sure do appreciate your help!

Stay cool everyone and wish you a FANTASTIC 4THof July!


PS- I would love to add a self-care suggestion each month to my newsletter addition. Distractions are very necessary when life gets tough and we need a healthy mind shift.  I hope you find the below listed link as soothing as I have in the past. ENJOY!!




Dear Volunteers and Staff,

I am so pleased to introduce you to our new Volunteer Coordinator/ Encore Fellow Francine Martin. Francine started just two weeks ago and has a plan and a vision for refreshing and rebuilding our volunteer programs.  She has experience working in health care (public and nonprofit), social services, teaching, human resource management, office management, research, writing, website development, marketing, and program and project management.  All these experiences will be helpful in recruiting the right fit for the many positions we would like to fill. She has good energy and a positive attitude. And she is from New York – so not a Packers fan. Please welcome Francine when you get a chance.

Congratulations!  City of Peoria Councilor Denette Dunn awarded Northwest Valley Connect the Nonprofit of the Month for July!  The award appropriately reflects the hard work and caring service you all provide this community.  I am so proud to be able to work with you all.

Thank you for all you do!

Drivers if you are in need of sanitizing supplies, please let me know and stop in the office. We have Lysol spray and wipes, gloves and more. And if you haven’t driven in a while, give us a call and let us know when you think you will be back. As more people get vaccinated, we are getting so many more requests for rides. Vaccination trips are a priority! Call Operators please give us a call and let us know when you are ready to come back.


It’s a great pleasure to begin my tenure as Volunteer Coordinator at NVC. I look forward to meeting and working with the wonderful cadre of volunteers who are so important in our work. Accomplishing our mission depends in great part on the work and dedication of our volunteers. Know that you are greatly appreciated!

With large numbers of people fully vaccinated, we have seen a significant increase in our transportation requests, as people get out again. In Arizona, we need to step up vaccinations to make sure as many people as possible have two shots. Most seniors do!

NVC can transport people to get their shots (folks 65 and over, Veterans, and people with disabilities) so please share that information and spread the word.

With our increased ride requests, in addition to our other work, we need additional volunteers in the following areas:


Call Center Reservationists


Administrative Assistant


Grant Writing

Fund Raising

As you know we can accommodate a volunteer’s schedule, and we are happy to be flexible. We love when you refer new volunteers to us!

Are you, your spouse, partner, kids, grandkids or anyone in your family upgrading your laptop, tablet or desktop computer? If yes, please consider donating your old equipment to NVC. We will be happy to pick it up. Our IT consultants will wipe it clean and reformat it, so you can be completely confident that your personal information has been deleted.  Because working from home became well-established during the pandemic and is here to stay, we want to be ready to accommodate volunteers who would prefer that. To make that happen we need additional computer equipment.

This newsletter contains a new feature, the Nutrition Tip of the Month. We’re very lucky that Sharon Sass, an expert Nutritionist and Dietician, recently retired after over 30 years in the Nutrition Bureau at the AZ Department of Health Services, submitting this each month.

I’ve had a very gracious welcome from everyone at NVC. I know this will be a rewarding experience for me.



How long have you been volunteering?

About two years.
What do you do for NVC?
I'm a driver.

What do you like about volunteering?

Feeling useful. Meeting folks from all walks of life; hearing fascinating stories of their past and present lives; first impressions are often misleading.

What is a fun fact about you?

Live with lists. Depend on phone calendar and gmaps. Best husband- 60 years so far.

What advice do you have for other volunteers?

Be prepared before each drive to avoid distractions. Pull over before fussing with phone/gmaps/paperwork. A few minutes delay not worth the chance of harming your passenger, or those in another car. Call client day ahead to verify time and place. Pre- program gmaps for all drives doing next day. Being well organized helps immensely. And try to put yourself in their shoes. Any helplessness they may feel may be your role some day.

Wyoming Cowboy Cookies
By Sylvia Meredith
New driver and office worker wanted to start off her volunteering duties with a bang and brought these cookies to the office TWO days in a row! Steve sent in the recipe because the cookies are so good. Thank you, Sylvia!
This recipe makes 6 dozen cookies.
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 -1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 2 cups (12 ounces) chocolate chips


Place coconut and pecans on a 15x10x1-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 6 to 8 minutes or until toasted, stirring every 2 minutes. Set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt Add to creamed mixture; beat well. Stir in the oats, chocolate chips and toasted coconut and pecans.
Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 350° about 12
minutes or until browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Test Kitchen Tips:

For hearty cowboy appetites, double the size of these cookies. Just make sure to increase the oven
time, baking these until they're golden brown.

Take care not to overbake, though: You want them to be crunchy on the outside and a bit chewy on
the inside.

By Board Member Brian Huebner
3 cloves garlic

1/3 c olive oil

¼ c tomato sauce

2 Tbsp red wine vinegar

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp cayenne pepper

2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil

2 lbs lg shrimp, peeled and deveined


Combine all marinade ingredients, stir to coat shrimp. Refrigerate 30-45 min, stirring once or twice. Pre-heat grill for medium heat, thread shrimp on skewers. Discard remaining marinade.

Lightly oil grill grate. Cook 2-3 min per side or till lightly opaque.

Nutrition Tip of the Month
By Sharon Sass, RDN

You probably know that staying well-hydrated during our hot Arizona summer is especially important. Did you now that nearly half of adults drink fewer than four cups of water a day and some drink no water at all? The good news is that in addition to drinking water and other beverages, many foods, like watermelon, are “water-dense”. At 92 percent water, watermelon is a delicious way to boost your hydration. Watermelon is fat and saturated fat free, cholesterol free, sodium free, and goods ource of vitamin C.  Try a mini melon, they are easier to handle, have thinner rinds than a full-sized watermelon, and are a perfect size for one or two people. Store your cut watermelon in an airtight container and use within 5 days. Want to know how pick a good watermelon? Check out the link below to see a short video on how to pick the best watermelon in just three easy steps and find other tips for enjoying your watermelon.

Watermelon How To

Happy Birthday from all of us at NVC!!
Elaine Miller
John Kenney