PNA Village celebrates community and welcomes new members

PNA Village celebrates community and welcomes new members
By mattc

By Alethea Alexander

Along with the rest of the world, the PNA Village has weathered the ongoing pandemic with moxie, agility, humility, and creativity. During this unknowable time, our mission—to support the vitality and autonomy of people aging in their homes—has been critical for our members.

Our incredible group of over 200 volunteers have shown up to support their neighbors, our members, with everything from small gifts and kindnesses to absolutely essential trips around the city. We learned so much about how we can best support Village members, how important our supportive, socially active community is, and we are excited to grow as we welcome more folks into the Village!

Two women outside in a park, one holding a sign that says, "The Village" referring to the PNA Village program.

PNA Village members enjoy a Shakespeare in the Park event in July 2021. Photo: Stephanie Prince

In the past year, our volunteers and members have:

  • Joined weekly online gatherings at the Village Happy Hour, Coffee Hour, News of the Day Conversation Group, Book Group, and Creative Writing Group.
  • Helped each other learn how to join online group gatherings (zoom!) so we can stay connected! We could never have imagined how essential our technologically-genius volunteers could be, or how generously they would donate their time to our members.
  • Creatively begun to make the transition to in-person and even “hybrid” meetings and events, as we cautiously move forward with new health guidelines.
  • Delivered and received hundreds of “small gestures”: little poems, flowers, cards, essays, or articles sent to a member from a volunteer.
  • Given and received over 130 free rides to and from medical appointments, grocery stores, and other places.
  • Helped each other with downsizing, donating things to Goodwill, women’s shelters, and other organizations.
  • Cared for and enjoyed their yards together with gardening help and other outdoor tasks—we love our safe outdoor time!
  • Gotten moving—and talking—with walking groups and in one-on-one duets.
  • Safely gathered in back yards, at the Shakespeare in the Park offerings in our neighborhood, and over an outdoor lunch serenaded by live classical harp.
  • Met virtually with members from other Villages all over the country.
  • Hosted a presentation about solo aging and the community resources that can be cultivated.

And so much more! We love what we do, and we love the people who do it with us. We hope to encourage all of our neighbors to become a part of the Village, and we are always ready to talk with new potential members about their needs and how we can show up to help.

Three men painting the side of a house on a sunny day.

Each month, volunteers contribute around 200 hours of work to help PNA Village Members with large and small tasks. Kevin, Jim, and Bill (pictured) worked for a collective 18 hours to repaint the side of a member’s home! Photo: Kay H.

If you know someone within NW Seattle who you think could benefit from the Village, we can reach out to them and share information about what we do. This could be an older neighbor, family member, or friend. Simply email their name and contact info to [email protected] or call 206.789.1217 and we’ll do the rest.

We also invite you to join us for Power of Community! This annual fundraiser will be livestreamed on Thurs, Oct. 14 from 12 pm to 1 pm. It will feature a lively conversation between community leaders Jim Diers and Kavan Peterson on the importance of creating community, and illustrate why your support is so essential to the community-building work of our PNA VillageGreenwood Senior Center, and Memory Loss Program. We hope that you’ll donate to help us keep empowering seniors to stay in the homes and neighborhoods they love as they age, and that you’ll join us for the Power of Community fundraiser soon!

 

Power of Community graphic of colorful hands reaching up with butterflies flying out.