2020 Neighbors Helping Neighbors Annual Report

By Lynn Gensamer
NHN Chair

Neighbors Helping Neighbors (NHN) has been serving residents of The Landings for nearly 20 years. In 2015, NHN began recording the number of requests it received for assistance, primarily transportation and for medical equipment.

Volunteer Activity

Not surprisingly, NHN activity was significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. During the spring and early summer, with the “stay at home” directive and cancellation of elective surgeries and most doctor appointments, the demand for transportation decreased dramatically. To limit exposure, all transportation that was provided was done by only NHN Call Coordinators. By August, demand began to increase, which became challenging for only six drivers. At that time, we surveyed our volunteer list and were able to add a few more drivers.

Transportation to and from medical appointments accounts for most of the “Volunteer Activity” reported below. Each time an individual volunteers, her/his service is counted as an occasion. A round-trip ride constitutes one occasion. When a member of our Handymen Crew installs or removes a ramp, this also is recorded as a volunteer occasion. In 2020, there were only 101 volunteer occasions, the lowest since 2016, and 36% fewer than the previous year.

Unfortunately, the number of transportation volunteers also has dramatically decreased. Many of our volunteers have moved away, have health issues, or simply are no longer willing or able to drive. An effort to recruit new volunteers is underway.








Interestingly, demand for equipment continued to grow year-over-year, though at significantly lower rate (e.g., up 6%). In 2020, more ramps were installed and removed than ever before. In 2019 and 2020, NHN purchased aluminum ramps with the funds it received from Landlovers’ grants. We now have seven portable aluminum ramps, ranging in length from four feet to 10 feet. This eliminates the need for a truck and increases flexibility (e.g., quicker response time and less sophisticated carpentry skills required).








In July, long-time volunteer Don McCulloch retired from NHN and in September moved to The Marshes. We were fortunate to have Ray Ernst join us in July and continued to operate with six Call Coordinators throughout the year.

Starting in 2021, the first day of each NHN duty week shifted to Monday. Weekly activity reports are emailed to Landings Association management, and a weekly equipment inventory is also maintained.

Thanks go to the Association’s Public Works Department for the new sign at the Equipment Closet, and to Controller Jessica Henderson for a monthly accounting of NHN funds. All of us at NHN are grateful to the entire TLA staff for its support and encouragement, especially Security Office Manager Erica Kersey, who is responsible for rolling over the phone alert system every Monday morning.

Volunteering with Neighbors Helping Neighbors  

Email Chair Lynn Gensamer (lynn@gensamer.com) to find out more about this group that provides routine support and services to Landings residents, primarily transportation to and from medical appointments. Other services include occasional respite for family caregivers, and assistance with household tasks and repairs that are too small or simple to interest professionals. The group also maintains a Crutch Closet, which includes medical equipment for residents to borrow. Its Handymen Crew builds and installs ramps for wheelchair accessibility.

This article was originally published by The Landings Association on their website.

Visit landings.org to read the original article.