Village Neighbors Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is a Village?
A Village is a grass-roots, non-profit membership organization that provides meaningful social connections and practical assistance to seniors (60+) who want to live independently in their own homes for as long as possible. Each Village is unique to the needs of its community. A helpful website to learn more is www.vtvnetwork.org or on our About Village Neighbors page here.
Why did the Village movement get started?
The Village movement started in Boston in the year 2002 and has spread to all areas of the United States. It began when a group of neighbors realized that the everyday services they needed to age in place were expensive or sometimes not even available. Like seniors in many areas, they found that local government agencies, churches, neighbors, friends, and family increasingly were not able to provide all the help that was needed. Those neighbors banded together and created their own senior service organization. A Village means neighbors helping neighbors in an organized way.
How are Villages run?
Here on Chincoteague, the Village operates as a program of the non-profit Island Community House (ICH). Services and social events are run by volunteers and the ICH Director, with the support of one full or parttime coordinator who manages scheduling, communications, and volunteer/member information.
What services does a Village offer?
The intention of a Village is to add to, not compete with or replace, any existing services in the community. Typically, services include: transportation for appointments, grocery shopping and routine errands; light household chores; companionship through home visits; help with technology; enrichment through get-togethers, lectures, walking groups, outings, etc. Note: Villages cannot provide medical or nursing care or replace the need for home healthcare aides.
What is the service area for Village Neighbors?
Village Neighbors serves citizens of Chincoteague Island, Virginia.
Who provides the services and who receives them?
Those receiving the services are called Members and are residents of Chincoteague age 60 or better. Volunteers (multi-generational) provide services according to their own skills and availability thus encouraging aging-in-community to flourish. Volunteers - often new retirees themselves - may eventually become Members and receive services as the need arises. All Volunteers are trained, vetted through background checks, and offered ongoing support. We also will work with Chincoteague Combined School to include teen volunteer participation.
How do I become a Member?
First, fill out a Membership Application. Once you have completed the application we will schedule a time for a short home visit so you can tell us more about your needs and we can talk about how Village Neighbors can assist you. You will also be required to sign a Membership Agreement form.
How do I become a Volunteer?
First, fill out a Village Neighbors Volunteer Application. All volunteers agree to a criminal background check that is done by a professional service, which includes a driving record check. Volunteers must be fully COVID-19 vaccinated in accordance with current CDC guidelines. You will also be required to participate in an orientation, attend a few training sessions, and sign a Volunteer Agreement Form.
How many hours per week or month will I be expected to volunteer?
This is completely up to you. Volunteers choose what services they would like to provide and the hours they are available. We are anticipating a typical commitment being 4 to 8 hours per month, but your schedule may be more or less - whatever works for you.
Is seasonal, part-time volunteer participation okay?
Yes. Volunteers who are only available part of the year are very welcome.
What would a typical volunteer session look like?
Most sessions will be approximately one hour. You might take someone who needs a ride to a medical appointment - either go in with them or do an errand of your own - then drive them home. You might take someone grocery shopping or to church. You might arrange for a speaker for an informal talk at the ICH. You might change an air filter, or do a home visit to chat, play a card game, etc.
Are there ways to volunteer besides providing a direct contact service to seniors?
Absolutely, we need administrative, outreach, and fundraising help, too. Please let us know if you’re interested in these areas when you fill out the Volunteer Application.
What is the cost of Membership?
Village Neighbors serves seniors of all social-economic backgrounds through membership fees or sponsorships. Membership fees cover administrative costs for a coordinator, background checks, liability insurance, a Village telephone line and office expenses. Very importantly, fees also help support sponsorships for those who cannot afford to pay for a membership. Every village sets its own fee structure. Village Neighbors has three membership types – annual membership (12 months), 3 month Short Term membership and 6 month Short Term membership.
The annual fee for Membership in Village Neighbors is $240. A 3 month membership is $120.00, and a 6 month membership is $180.00. Note: Fees alone will not cover all the expenses of running a Village, so yearly fundraising will always be needed.
Can adult children pay for a membership for a parent? Can anyone sponsor a membership of another person?
Yes. Anyone can sponsor another person for membership. We are all aware that adult children and friends often live far away, or have obligations that make it hard for them to meet the needs of their elderly parents/friends. Village membership can make this situation easier for friends/families of seniors all over the U.S. by providing support.
What services do I get with a Membership?
Per month, a member would receive 10 services which includes 1 home maintenance assistance service (light handy-man task). Services could include: transportation to destinations on Chincoteague as well as off-island destinations*, friendly visits and social interactions, convenience services and errands, computer and technology assistance, social outings, events, and programs.
*Note: Off Island transportation is available for distances of up to 120 miles round trip.
Village Neighbors is fiscally sponsored by Island Community House a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in 2019.
757-336-1993 · VillageNeighbors@village-neighbors.org
6246 Mumford Street · Chincoteague Island, VA · 23336