THANK YOU !!!

Thanks to all who showed their support by making a donation to Give More 24.

We raised $900 with 21 donors!

We greatly appreciate your support and look forward to being an important part of your life and this community.

Our gratitude also goes out to the Community Fund of Southwest Washington for inviting us to participate in this year’s campaign.

 

Did you see us in the Vancouver Business Journal?

Villages Clark County set to open mid-2018

Self-sustaining organization brings volunteers, members together

 Sept 15, 2017  https://www.vbjusa.com/news/spotlight/nonprofit/villages-clark-county-set-open-mid-2018/

photo courtesy of Jane Perkins & Vancouver Business Journal

Neighbors helping neighbors is a decades-old concept that, with community gardens and apps like nextdoor.com, has become vogue again. Aging in place is the first choice for nearly 90 percent of Americans. Put the two together and the success of the nationwide Villages program should come as no surprise.

Still on target to open mid-2018, Villages Clark County is a self-sustaining organization that brings a healthy ratio of volunteers and members together. The goal is to help seniors live independently for as long as possible without having to rely on government-funded programs to do so.

“When someone calls for a ride, government programs have to be scheduled,” said John Chapman, co-chair for Villages Clark County. “They don’t service the whole community and aren’t a fit for short-term needs. Villages have found, for the onesy, twosy kinds of things – picking something up or grocery shopping — looking to a neighbor to help out is a better fit than government services. We’re looking to augment where we can and provide other services that other programs aren’t providing.”

Back in 2001, in the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Boston, Mass., the first Villages was formed by a group of proactive seniors who chose to take the challenges of aging into their own hands by consolidating their strengths and creating a pool of volunteers to fill in the gaps. Today Beacon Hill has more than 400 members and Villages can now be found from coast to coast.

Since each Village is the captain of its own ship, so to speak, Villages Clark County has been forming its foundation from regular Villages 101 and Chai and Chat meetings with the community. According to Chapman, Clark County is looking for help with small household chores and transportation but they also stress the desire for a strong social component.

“Those of us who grew up in small communities are familiar with the social part (of small communities) and churches still do a great job of that, but we’re now so spread out and it’s become fractured,” he said.

Input ranges from three or four people wanting to engage in a farmers market outing to help with Medicare education to rides to medical appointments to an organized game night.

Villages Clark County garners its support from VillagesNW, which oversees the Portland-Vancouver Metro Area. Chapman shared that four Villages in the Portland area have been open from one to two years and two more are set to open this fall. Each started with about 30 members and one has grown to 60. The more volunteers and members a Village has, the more it can support the types of social programs and activities that members want to be involved with.

Although Villages Clark County is looking at every grant avenue available, Chapman said that they are excited to participate in Give More 24 this year — set for Sept. 21. Not only will Give More help expand the efforts of Villages, the fundraising aspect will go a long way in ensuring a bank of startup funds to roll out Villages strong in 2018.

The Villages blueprint resonates with a variety of individuals. Chapman shared that, with families more spread out than generations past, some interested volunteers appreciate the help that neighbors give to their aging parents living in other parts of the country. Villages is an opportunity for them to reciprocate kindness with someone else’s family member.

“Companionship grows from volunteering,” Chapman said. “It doesn’t have to be a forced thing. People enjoy helping people and it’s a better way to create a sense of community.”

For more information about Villages Clark County or to become a volunteer or help with outreach, go to www.VillagesClarkCounty.org.

 

Going from ‘help outer’ to ‘help needer’

written by Elva Eliason

 

I first heard about the Villages in a meeting at my Athletic Club that I attended only because I was in a gym following one of my exercise classes and I didn’t escape in time before the meeting started. Sitting there, skimming the list of services offered on the handout, I began to mentally check off all of my own personal needs:

Replace Ceiling light bulbs (My children made me promise to never get on a ladder again)

Yard Work (my left wrist, recently shattered from falling over the front yard edging onto the sidewalk, started to ache)

Transportation (immediately started wondering if I could find my car after I left the facility. I can drive, I just can’t figure out WHERE to drive.)

Check Smoke Alarms (Checking the gym skylights, I saw that the air was still hazy from the smoke of the recent wildfires…maybe the local fire fighters had other things they should be doing instead of trying to keep me safe by checking my smoke alarms.)

 

And so it went. Awareness started to sink in that somewhere I had gone from being a “help outer” to being a “help needer” and I didn’t like the change. Age has its own demands, but here was a choice that could be made to find help through a system instead of becoming a burden on your children – or on benevolent others.

 

Then the second phase of the presentation started to kick in – what can you do for others? I belong to a church that promotes volunteering in all church activities and in the Community but somehow I had become a passive giver – what would it be like instead of bringing in a food donation, I could help a person figure out how to have a steady food supply? Maybe there was more than I thought to the “Help a person learn to fish” saying.

I don’t have any great talents but I could find some things to do in the Villages list of the many practical ways to be of service to others.

And so my walk down the road to the Villages began.

Help Villages Clark County by voting with your donation to

Give More 24! @givemore24.org

 

 

As Independent as They Come

by Elva Eliason

Phyllis was as independent as they come. Well into her nineties she was never happier than when she was out bouncing along on her ride-on lawn mower taking great pride in maintaining her own yard. She loved that mower and the sense of power it gave her.

She lived just a “country road” away from her church so she drove herself to church each Sunday and here and there for local errands. She was offended if you offered to take her somewhere. “I have a car!” she would say with a mixture of annoyance and pride that you weren’t aware that she could take care of herself.

But the day came when there were too many issues for her to take care of the way she was used to doing, and she gave up the mower and the car and reluctantly left her home for a retirement center apartment. She adjusted and she found ways there to help out some of the other residents so she felt that her life still had meaning, but it never made up for the joy of living in a home full of memories of a beloved husband and family. Not long after moving to the Center, she left our world.

With the loss of her mother still fresh in her mind, Phyllis’ daughter had an immediate reaction to hearing the Villages story: “I wonder now how much longer and how much happier my mother’s life would have been if the Villages’ type of support had been there for her and she could have stayed in her home?”  Phyllis’ family will never know the answer to that question.

ADULT CHILDREN OF ELDERS! –

THINK ABOUT SUPPORTING VILLAGES CLARK COUNTY 

with your donation to GIVE MORE 24!  SEPTEMBER 21st 

The weekends are the worse.

This senior is home alone all day. The weekends are the worse.

 

A lonely 82 year old widow called Villages Clark County and asked when we she could become a member.

“I love my home and my neighborhood. I don’t want to move. I can pretty much take care of all my daily needs but I am very lonely. My husband died last year, my favorite neighbor went into assisted living last month and my daughter lives in Chicago. I am lonely every day but the weekends are the worse. I would dearly love to have a group of people I could join to go to a movie, farmer’s market, a free concert, anything to break up the long weekends. This would make all the difference in the world.”

 

www.VillagesClarkCounty.org/GiveMore24