Network News October 2018

Barbara Hughes Sullivan, Executive Director

Dear VTV Network,

Wow! My first six months have been pretty busy! I am excited and thrilled to report that our annual conference was a big success. A big thank you to all of you that participated in our 10th annual Village to Village Conference in San Diego. We have had a lot of positive feedback about the location, topics, sessions, speakers, and food at the conference. If you have not already taken the survey, please click on the button below to help us plan for our annual conference in 2019!

If you did not attend the conference, all the breakout session materials from speakers and presenters who have shared their materials are available for members on our website.

A big thank you to Village Movement California for their research and vision for Villages. Village to Village Network presented some shared strategic goals at the conference. They include national growth, the impact the Village model has on communities, engaging with national partners to help Village to Village Network reach its full potential and financial sustainability. With your help, our goal is to help scale the Village Movement to its full potential of serving seniors in communities all across the country.

Village to Village Network is busy gearing up for our annual end of year giving campaign. We will be sending out our annual appeal letter and ask that you support the movement. This year, we will also be participating in #GivingTuesday on November 27, 2018. We need your support! Village to Village Network’s success would not be possible without the help of our supporters, sponsors and partnerships, established over the last ten years. In order to further our mission, the movement needs your financial support. Will you help us fulfill our vision of expanding the opportunity, choice, support and care for all older people?

Last but not least! We have finalized the details for our National Village Conference for 2019! The 11th Annual conference will be held in Chicago, September 26-28th. More details to follow!

Happy Fall!


National Village Conference a huge success!

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! That is all we can say to the planners, presenters, sponsors and attendees at this year's National Village Gathering. We've had overwhelmingly positive feedback, which is great considering that VtV Network went through a leadership change just prior to the conference.

Find Conference Materials on the VtV Network Website

VtV Network members can go the the Conference page on our website and click the "Conference Materials" button to view many of the presentations. We are working on getting any missing presentations.

Next Year We're Going to The Windy City!

If you haven't heard the News, the 2019 National Village Conference will be in Chicago, September 26-28! Mark your calendars now!

We want to thank our sponsors and exhibitors and we encourage everyone to check them out!


Scenes from the 2018 National Village Conference

Photos by Yasmin Shah

Congratulations to the 2018 Volunteer of the Year - Elsa Bengel!

Elsa has been a pioneer of new programs for decades, so creating a village in her community was a natural next step following her retirement. JP@Home was established five years ago. Under Elsa’s leadership, JP@Home has a unique partnership with a state and federal funded elder home care agency, Ethos in Jamaica Plain, a neighborhood of Boston.

Elsa is most proud of the partnership with Ethos, because several staff are available to handle the administrative side of the program, while members have time to enjoy activities and forge new and lasting friendships. Members also have the comfort of knowing that they will have ready access to resources and services as they age in the community. Dale Mitchell, Executive Director of Ethos, welcomed the opportunity to support the development of a village in Jamaica Plain. JP@Home, which has since expanded to other neighborhoods, now has 120 members and a high retention rate.

Mr. Mitchell states, “What is special about Elsa is that she is a consensus builder and natural recruiter. She truly enjoys what she is doing and sharing her life and wisdom with others. She is real and extremely thoughtful and knows that it ‘takes a village’ through each stage of life.”

Elsa has served on JP@Home’s Advisory Council since the program’s inception where she was the first Co-Chair. She currently chairs two committees that are critical to the program’s sustainability: 1) Recruitment, Outreach, and Communication and 2) Fundraising and Finance.

Elsa is a mother, grandmother, and caregiver of her husband John who experienced significant health issues this year. Members rally around one another during personal crises—walking with them post-surgery or providing meals, rides, or simply being present during these hard moments; this was Elsa’s hope in creating JP@Home. She and other members serve on support teams for those experiencing significant caregiving responsibilities. She sees that caregiving is a privilege that can help us become stronger and wiser; her latest initiative is the creation of a caregiver support group to help reduce social isolation and burnout. She is an active leader and participant in a host of JP@Home groups, including memoir writing, Dining Out, and Tai Chi. JP@Home is continuously expanding its membership and the depth and breadth of its offerings with Elsa thoughtfully leading the way.

In speaking with Elsa’s husband John about this nomination, we discovered more important facts about her talents and dedication. He explained the underpinnings of her success with JP@Home: “Elsa has done a lot of important things outside of her 28-year career at the YMCA.” She has been a teacher throughout her professional life, and her work abroad in the Philippines, India, Indonesia, and Scotland has only broadened her skills and compassion.

“Through her church, she oversaw the development of a domestic violence initiative, Safe Havens which today has a five million dollar annual budget, and another organization that helps underemployed and low-income workers secure training to build strong careers, Training, Inc. (Boston office); both programs have been in operation for nearly 30 years.”

“What sets her apart is that she never does it by herself,” John continued. “Elsa can find champions. She has lots of creativity, organizing skills, and the most outstanding thing is her commitment and ability to role with the punches; she often does it better than other structures.”

Last month we talked about how Villages Make It Possible to Get the Job Done, but you can't get the job done if you don't have access to resources such as vetted service providers! Villages often have a list of trusted providers for a variety of services.

Contact your local Village to see what resources they have available for you!

To support the Village Movement across the United States and ensure that Villages keep growing, and working together, please donate to Village to Village Network. Click the link below to Make It Possible to have this amazing support network!

Awesome Village Videos!

Many Villages have videos that explain who they are and what they do. Here are a few examples of nice videos sent in to Village to Village Network recently from some of our members.

Love Living at Home out of Ithaca, NY, sent this nice video where the founders talk about the thought process that went into forming their Village. We're so glad they did!

At Home in Greenwich out of Greenwich, CT, sent this nice explanatory video. Very nice production on this one! They have titles and B-roll and just really nice editing. Great job!

Neighbors Network out of Maitland, FL, sent a great video that gives some really nice examples of what Villages do for their members. Keep up the good work!

North Jersey Villages of Bergen and Passaic County, NJ, had an opportunity to do a TV interview recently, and they were so kind to send us the video! If your Village is ever highlighted in your local media, send us a link so we can share with everyone!

If you have or know of a Village video that you would like to share, send it to vtv@vtvnetwork.org and we will post it in the newsletter!

Join a landmark study on Life Plan Communities

Your community has an opportunity to participate in a national longitudinal study that will determine the impact of living in a Life Plan Community on residents’ health and well-being. (First-year findings spell good news for residents!)

Mather LifeWays Institute is seeking Life Plan Communities to join the 80 sites currently participating in the Age Well Study, and add to the more than 5,000 resident-respondents. These additional communities will participate in the remainder of the study starting in 2019.

As a participating organization, you’ll receive an individual report summarizing your unique resident data as well as a copy of the comprehensive report.

Interested in participating? Review details on their website, then sign up by Friday, November 30.

The Age Well Study is being conducted by Mather LifeWays Institute on Aging and Northwestern University, in partnership with ASHA, LeadingAge, Ziegler, Novare, Life Care Services, and National Investment Center.

Village Anniversaries!

4818 Washington Blvd, St Louis, MO 63108

For more info email us at vtv@vtvnetwork.org

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Village to Village Network


Created with images by David Menidrey - "Pumpkin Twins" • photo-nic.co.uk nic - "Sunset and wine"

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