What started as a group of neighbors — formed to help with a variety of tasks from changing a light bulb to driving each other to the grocery store or doctor — has expanded to include home repair referrals, vetted service providers and social events and educational programs. They are known as “Villages.”
Marin Villages is unique in the Village movement. It is an alliance of local villages in Marin County, California, with one central office. Some call it the “hub and spoke” model.
Community Connections, a Village in rural Plumas County, shares its mission with all the Villages: neighbors helping neighbors. There’s one big difference. In rural Plumas County, help can be miles away. Volunteers with Community Connections provide that help through a unique time banking program. Here, members exchange services with each other and earn time credits. One hour of service earns one-time credit — all services are equal. Money is not exchanged.
The Village to Village Network: Voices from Across the Country
Each year, the Village to Village Network holds a national conference. A few years ago, the Staying Put or Moving On team joined them and shot this film about why they think the Village movement matters.
Urban Villages: Stories in Development
As altruistic as the mission of the Village Movement is, it is a challenge to maintain. The concept is new. Potential members can be reluctant to pay the dues because they are unsure of the benefits and even those in their 80’s are INRYs — “I’m Not Ready Yet”. But as one ages, it becomes harder to make new friends and connections, especially as the older ones fade away. Villages in urban areas are finding ways to rectify these problems.