A ride shouldn’t come between a person and their health, but that is the reality for so many in our community. Homebound seniors are often forced to skip doctor visits simply because they have no way to get there. Valley of the Sun United Way is working with local nonprofits to make sure everyone has access to healthcare.
Valley of the Sun United Way has a five-year plan to create Mighty Change in Maricopa County. One of our goals is to increase the number of people who have access to healthcare by 100,000 individuals. One organization helping us achieve this goal is Duet.
Duet has been serving our community for 40 years. They provide free services for homebound adults across the valley. Their dedicated volunteers help with rides to medical appointments and the grocery store. Duet also provides support groups for those dealing with isolation.
Martha and Louise Garner have been using Duet’s services for almost a year. Volunteers drive them to and from their doctor’s appointments free-of-charge. Before finding Duet, the couple often used public transit. Martha is in a wheelchair, which made it difficult to travel to and from the bus stop. Martha says, “Out there on the street in all that traffic… it was scary.”
The couple says their volunteers go above and beyond. They pick them up at their door, help them into the car, walk with them inside the doctor’s office and wait inside until they’re done.
“Duet is wonderful. All the drivers that we have had… have been respectful and personable. They laugh at my stupid jokes. You don’t have the interaction on public transportation.” - Martha Garner, Duet Client
Executive Director of Duet, Anne Wheat, says many volunteers form friendships with the client. She says, “What really I think is just very endearing is the bonds that they form and how often when we hear from our neighbors isn’t that’s my volunteer... that is my friend.”
“Duet is passionately committed to improving the quality of life for seniors in our community. We work very hard to remove barriers, so that everyone can have a full, healthy and enriching life in our community, which everyone does deserve.“ - Anne Wheat, Duet Executive Director
Duet defines homebound as someone who has given up driving permanently due to physical or age-related issues and cannot easily use public transit.
Donating to Valley of the Sun United Way helps seniors, like Martha and Louise, live a healthy and happy life. Your gift allows Duet to provide them and others in our community with free services. Learn more about donating.
Valley of the Sun United Way is proud to partner with Duet to create Mighty Change in the lives of older adults across Maricopa County. Together, with our generous donors by our side, we’re confident we’ll meet our bold goals and increase access to healthcare.