The Power of Community: PNA Village Reimagines Aging

By Elizabeth Black, PNA Village volunteer

Anyone who’s involved with PNA Village—or “the Village” as it’s better known—can tell you it’s an incredibly special program.

With the goal of empowering people to remain in their homes and neighborhoods while staying active and engaged as they age, the Village reimagines aging by offering elders opportunities for social engagement and help from their local neighbors. The sense of belonging that the Village creates and the connected lives it supports show the Power of Community.

GSC Program Manager Ariel Burnett at the Museum of Flight’s recent “The Walt Disney Studios and World War II” exhibition.
Village volunteers Jim, Kevin, and Bill paint the side of a garage to help a Village member.

By facilitating access to activities and events like walking groups, book clubs, acting groups, jewelry-making, creative writing, coffee chats, community service, and more, the Village ensures there’s a place—and an activity—for all members to enjoy. As a result, members have fostered new friendships, hobbies, and interests—proof that building community and learning and evolving well into our later years is a worthy and fulfilling way to spend our time.

The Village also offers members support through a wide network of volunteers who provide social visits, assistance with handy projects, transportation to doctor’s appointments, classes, or errands, and advocacy on health-related matters. The goal is to ensure that members are never without support or friendship, whenever they need or want it.

PNA members and volunteers alike say that the community they’ve found through the Village has been life changing.

Linda Laing, who has been a Village member for years, said what she loves most about the Village are the people she meets and the activities she has access to. For her, the community has been incredibly valuable in helping her stay involved with neighborhood activities and strengthening friendships. She also loves spending time with the volunteers, who she says prove time and time again that they are trustworthy, helpful, and genuinely kind and caring. One volunteer in particular, Andrew Booker, has become a true friend to her.

“He is wonderful, and I love talking with him. I needed someone who could help me with small errands and drive me places, and he’s been so helpful on that front. From there, we’ve developed a great friendship, built off of a wide variety of mutual interests. For example, we love talking about music and space together!”

Andrew, who has been a volunteer with the Village since 2017, agrees, saying Linda has become a true friend to him over the years. Knowing he can make a huge difference in someone’s day by providing transportation, troubleshooting tech problems, and connecting as a friend is incredibly important to him, especially now that he’s retired and has extra time to give back to his community.

Greenwood Senior Center program participants enjoy a tour of the Henry Art Gallery.
Village member Linda and volunteer Andrew.
A recent cocktail-making course held in the Greenwood Senior Center dining room. It also involved cocktail tasting. Cheers!
Village members Marguerite and Margie enjoy Shakespeare in the Park in July 2021.

“Our Village creates so many wonderful connections while supporting active, independent lives,” shared PNA Village Program Manager Rebecca Fogarty. “We’ve served elder neighbors for more than a decade and I’m excited to see our community and its friendships keep growing!”

The Village has served hundreds of Seattleites over the years—and it’s critical that it continue doing so. To support Seattle’s fabulous community of elders—for months and years to come—it needs sustained financial support from the community.

That’s why we’re asking neighbors to support our Power of Community senior programs fundraiser, or to consider establishing a recurring donation to the Village—to ensure this vital program thrives well into the future. To all those who already donate, thank you! Your generosity is making an enormous difference in the lives of local elders.

Power of Community graphic

Support the Greenwood Senior Center and celebrate the Power of Community with a tax-deductible gift to our campaign today. Our goal is to raise $60,000 for all of our senior programs, including our events, lectures, and classes. Help us spread the word!

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