By Ellie Abraham

2020 is a memorable year for all of us in many ways.  For Corona Cares, it is our tenth anniversary.  In taking a look back at our accomplishments, we have provided many programs that have made a difference in our Corona de Tucson community.  The purpose was to provide services to primarily seniors to enable them to remain in their home confidently and safely.

Corona Cares is a nonprofit organization.  It is governed by a board of directors.  A coordinator conducts the day-to-day operations.  Pima Council on Aging is a consultant.  There is a memo of understanding with RTA for transportation services.  Corona Cares is a member of the Neighbors Care Alliance, a group of nonprofit programs in Pima County who provide similar services in specific communities.

Our first year of operation was an adventure of trial and error.  We tried several different services in an effort to determine what was the best way to serve the CdT community.   Current services include transportation, friendly phone calls, friendly visits, and caregiver relief.  During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have suspended all one-on-one services.  Currently we are limited to friendly phone calls and grocery shopping.

We hosted a grief group, driver refresher course, and end-of-life seminar.  In a partnership with the Post 109 Auxiliary, we operated the Market on the Move, and later POWWOW.  We also provided a spring and fall safety check.  During the holiday season, we partnered with Newtowners and Passion 4 Paws to collect products for the Vail School District Youth on Their Own.  We refer our recipients to the CdT Fire Department for smoke detector assessment, batteries, replacement as well as CO detectors.

At this time, 17 volunteers provide services to 18 recipients.  Over the past ten years, 54 recipients no longer require services, 29 of them have passed away.  There are 25 past volunteers, four of them have passed away.

Mileage statistics for the past ten years are 429 miles in 2010, 2869 miles in 2011, 4897 miles in 2012, 10,921 miles in 2013, 12,724 miles in 2014, 12,713 miles in 2015, 11,017 miles in 2016, 5,861 miles in 2017, 4,670 miles in 2018, and 7,221 miles in 2019.  Most of our drivers accumulate approximately 1,000 transportation miles each year.

As we continue to serve the community, the Corona Cares program will continue to evolve to better serve the needs of the recipients.  We look forward to continuing to assist those of our community who need us.  And thank you to all of you who have supported us.  Stay safe and healthy.

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