The vision of the Village movement is to build community. The concept started in Massachusetts in 1999. Some Villages, such as ours, choose an intergenerational model that tries to serve all members of the neighborhood. Other Villages focus solely on supporting residents who choose to age at home as long as feasible.
All Villages are local, volunteer-led grassroots organizations for which the underlying idea is simple: neighbor connecting with neighbor. Villages develop person-to-person relationships that create a sense of community often lacking in today's cities and suburbs. Click here for a map of Villages across the country: http://www.vtvnetwork.org/content.aspx?page_id=1905&club_id=691012
Villages design their services and programs based on identified needs and preferences of the members in their particular community. The breadth of these services and programs vary based on the availability of volunteers and vendors, and the revenue generated by membership fees and fundraising efforts.
Every Village uses a nonprofit entity to organize programming for residents in a geographically defined area; most charge a yearly membership fee to cover expenses. Volunteers provide most of the services, such as help with transportation, light home maintenance, and shopping. And, typically, an active calendar of social, cultural and educational events is organized to benefit members and volunteers. Some Villages are now starting to facilitate member and volunteer access to vetted professional services, such as financial, legal, medical, home repair, and renovation services.
Villages strengthen their communities by networking and connecting people with similar interests who likely drive by each other and would not otherwise meet. Villages create opportunities for folks to meet and develop roots and connection. It's a place where people feel they belong. It's a place where every individual is important and matters.
People who have time and would like a place to be useful and helpful are engaged powerfully within their own neighborhood. Numerous studies report how volunteers derive psychological benefit from making new friends and helping make a positive difference in people’s lives.
Recipients of volunteer services also benefit beyond the actual services they receive. Researchers note there is increased capacity to cope, reduced loneliness, and improved health status.
WHO CREATES A VILLAGE?
People like you! Villages are created by the residents in their neighborhood – people who have a vision for an improved quality of life for all. Every new Village starts with a dedicated core of individuals ready and willing to make that vision a reality. It is a worthwhile and engaging community endeavor.
Join us as a volunteer, become part of our leadership, and/or become a member!