Katie White, Executive Director at Village Connections and Leslie R. Shaffer, Executive Director at Wesley At Home joined us on Senior Agenda on 1/30/14 to discuss a grassroots concept sweeping the country known as the "village movement." Listen to the complete interview here. These two professionals serve different communities and organizations, but they work cooperatively to see that inquiring seniors get what they need and are directed to the correct service area.
Village Connections and Wesley at Home are non-profit organizations which aim to assist older adults in sustaining independence. Both organizations rely on community volunteers, concierge services, and home care to make their mission possible. The idea is to bring volunteers and vetted vendors together to assist seniors with everything from changing a light bulb to yard work to medical assistance - whatever is needed to make way for continued independence at home. Additionally, they incorporate activities such as wellness talks, educational opportunities and fun activities to serve seniors. The village movement is described as cutting-edge but it is clearly steeped in old school ideas of community and community building. It all hinges on the notion of neighbors helping neighbors. Reports indicate that there are now some 220 village organizations in 39 states including Village Connections and Wesley at Home.
Village Connections serves German Village, Merion Village, Schumacher Place, the Brewery District and Downtown Columbus at a cost of $500 per year for an individual membership. It originated with a group of German Village seniors who were determined to see the village movement come to their neighborhood. Contact Katie at 614-226-6567 or visit their website here to learn more or volunteer.
Wesley at Home serves Worthington, Upper Arlington, Clintonville, Bexley, Reynoldsburg, and Pickerington at a cost of $570 per year for an individual membership. It is non-profit component of Methodist ElderCare Services. Contact Leslie at 614-633-9826 or visit their website here to learn more or volunteer.
Both organizations are membership driven and willing to help other communities take steps to start their own village movements. Check out this how-to guide provided by Village Connections which includes the following steps:
- Count Your Chickens
- Know Your Customers
- Get Non-Profit Status
- Form Board and Committee
- Launch Your Web Site
- Do the Math
- Line Up Players
- Pass the Hat
- Get a Chief
Bottom line, it takes a village!