Y OPAS is a local outreach program of the Ahwatukee Foothills Family YMCA. Volunteers provide support services free of charge. We offer transportation to medical appointments, shopping and errands, friendly visiting , reassurance calling, household assistance with light chores or repairs and sorting of personal mail. We also provide referrals for services we do not do, and provide case management care for clients recently released from hospital to reduce re-admission rates. Last, but not least, we provide several monthly social events and activities to help our clients prevent isolation and loneliness and to keep them engaged in the community.
We currently have 196 volunteers that service 460 seniors in the Ahwatukee area. We regularly fill 80 -100 appointments per week assisting seniors. In 2017, volunteers donated over 9000 hours to complete 8853 assignments. 86% of our requests for service are for transportation. Last year, volunteers drove over 74,000 miles - the program averaging 20-25 drives per day. In 2017, Y OPAS took in 129 new clients and 42 new volunteers. While transportation is our most requested service, social activities have become increasingly popular. We continue to look for ways to help our clients stay connected to their community and to help combat isolation and loneliness. We host monthly luncheons for up to 100 people - with a catered lunch and programming including presentations from the Arizona Science Center, musicians, authors and more. We host monthly game day at the YMCA with Mexican Train Dominoes and cribbage; we utilize the YMCA bus to take small groups on monthly shopping trips to local grocery and retail stores. We also host a monthly crochet club made up of clients and volunteers who crochet recycled plastic bags into sleeping mats for seniors who are experiencing homelessness in our city. All of these offerings provide human connection and interaction that are critical to the community we serve and the health and well being of our clients. This funding will support and help us introduce some new social offerings.
I have been with (Y OPAS) for several years, and just last year, Y OPAS provided 79 rides for me! That's 79 times a caring, compassionate volunteer provided not only transportation to all my many medical appointments, OPAS events and shopping, but companionship and the peace of mind to know I never had to worry about how I would get there.
My decision to join YOPAS has been one of the most impactful of my life. Without them I would not be able to live alone. The services and reassurance they provide go well beyond transportation and shopping assistance.
I really enjoy the monthly luncheons and dominoes. They provide social interactions I wouldn't have otherwise. Several of the volunteers have become good friends. Their friendship, compassion and caring has given me back my spirit, my zest and the gift of laughter.
In one lifetime many people share your journey. But you are the people who help me and care unconditionally. That's the volunteers. Thank you for helping me.
All of the volunteers I have been fortunate to come in contact with have been nothing short of thoughtful, friendly, interesting and enjoyable to spend time with. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Thank you for all the many hours of giving of yourselves in helping Ahwatukee seniors, we do appreciate every little thing that you do.
The Y OPAS Mission is to provide support services that empower seniors to maintain their independence. Our services align with the YMCA Mission to put Christian principles into practice through programs that promote healthy spirit, mind and body for all.