Feeling isolated? PNA Village can help
By Riana Nolet
The PNA Village program has been supporting our older neighbors since 2012, and amidst the pandemic, is providing essential services to keep Village members connected to the community and safe at home.
When COVID-19 first emerged there was a scramble to make sure that everyone could get their needs met. Village volunteers started delivering groceries, running essential errands, calling members weekly to check in, and completing any task that could be done with social distancing.
As we enter winter, we are increasingly concerned—not about how people will get their groceries or prescriptions; we’ve got that figured out—but how people will get through these darker days while coping with isolation.
The good news is, the Village Program has an incredible group of members and volunteers who are finding meaningful ways to connect. They want to share these connections with anyone in the community who is feeling the effects of social distancing and isolation.
There are, of course, lots of discussion groups and activities happening over Zoom, but with 20 percent of our members having little or no access to technology, volunteers and members talk frequently on the phone, send cards, drop off little gifts, exchange books, visit outside, go for walks, and offer countless small gestures of kindness.
Village members typically pay an annual fee to access volunteer services and member benefits such as transportation, minor home repair, home/yard maintenance, and community-building activities. The sliding scale fee ranges from $6-30/month based on income, which ensures that the Village program is available to everyone at any budget.
But now there is an additional free option called the “Friend of the Village” which is specifically for anyone who is struggling with isolation but may not need other volunteer services at this time.
The “Friend of the Village” membership includes access to all Village online events and activities, weekly check-in calls, outdoor distanced visits, and a growing list of ways to connect neighbor to neighbor.
If you, or anyone you know, could benefit from a community connection, please reach out to the Village Program: [email protected] or 206.789.1217.