The Village Neighbors program helps seniors of Chincoteague live safely and independently in their own homes for as long as possible while having meaningful connections with others. We accomplish this mission by organizing a pool of vetted volunteers who provide practical help and socialization. Village Neighbors is a program of Island Community House a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in 2019.
An island-wide survey went out in November 2021 to assess the needs of residents over 60 years old and determine if there were enough potential volunteers to support Village Neighbors. Responses were overwhelmingly positive.
The Village movement springs from the recognition that local government, families, neighbors, churches, and friends increasingly cannot meet all the needs of the rapidly growing senior population. One solution has been for communities to organize themselves to provide help in innovative ways.
“Each Village is unique,” explains Lisa Cannon, Board Chair for the Island Community House. “Although it is a national movement, each community decides what services are most needed and what their volunteers can provide.” She notes, “Villages are meant to add to and enhance what is available locally for seniors, not compete with or replace existing services.”
Cindy Faith, Director of the Island Community House since 2019, says she often receives calls from people who would like to volunteer in the very personal ways that a Village provides. “From the surveys, we are seeing our older residents request more social outlets and practical help in their homes, and we’ve already heard from more than 40 potential volunteers who want to be involved.”
The Island Community House, located in a renovated private home behind the Island Theater, opened in 2019, with the help of David Landsberger. The Island Community House currently hosts senior luncheons and bingo games, as well as yoga and art classes. Future activities at the Island Community House will include cooking classes in their commercial kitchen, lectures, and day trips.
Please visit the Island Community House website for more information or follow ICH and Village-Neighbors on Facebook by clicking the "Like Page" button.