South Whidbey at Home is forming as a way for us to age gracefully in our own homes and actively in our communities. Learn more about benefits for members and volunteers at this informal presentation.
What is SW @ Home? Our mission statement reads: “South Whidbey at Home is a grassroots, member-based nonprofit to help older residents stay in their own homes and stay active in the community by connecting them to volunteer assistance, discounted local services, and social activities. Its goal is to improve the social, mental, and physical wellbeing of elders and connect people of all ages in a respectful, responsive, and mutually beneficial way. The organization is based on the popular Beacon Hill Village model for aging-in-place being copied across the country.”
We are essentially planning to age as we do everything on South Whidbey—by helping one another. Think of it as a caring co-op.
Full membership in South Whidbey at Home is for those over 55. For a reasonable annual fee (still to be determined) they will have access to free volunteer help, discounts or other preferential treatment from local service businesses, and a variety of social activities. A lower-cost associate membership will be open to people of any age who want to support the program and join in some of its social activities.
South Whidbey at Home volunteers are people of any age who don’t mind helping their neighbors with things like minor household chores, friendly visits, phone check-ins, rides to on-island appointments or social events. You can be both a member and a volunteer too.
We’ve come a long way since we first met in March. SW @ Home is now a registered nonprofit corporation, with approval pending on our IRS tax deduction application. We are currently in the process of designing our systems and procedures. As members of the national Village to Village Network (http://www.vtvnetwork.org ) we have access to materials and advice from other Villages, so we aren’t starting from scratch. Several of us will also be at the October Village to Village Network annual conference in Seattle asking questions.
Our plan is to beta-test our program in late winter by signing up early-bird members who will provide patience and feedback in exchange for a reduced membership. If you’re interested in beta-testing, just send an email.
We hope to have South Whidbey at Home up and running for real by summer of 2016. To do so, we’ll need help from more people with computer skills, business acumen, people skills, media savvy, organizational skills or good hearts. In addition to the steering committee, we have committees working on structure and governance, finance/budget, fundraising, member and volunteer services, service providers (businesses), technology, and marketing. We could use more members on those committees, so if you’re interested in joining one, just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
We hope to see you at Healing Circles Langley Tuesday, September 8th at 4:00. And tell your friends about it—they might want to age gracefully at home with a little help from their friends too.
South Whidbey at Home steering committee: Lynn Willeford, Allan Ament, Sharon Emerson, Eileen Jackson, Gary Vallat, Marcia Wiley, Miriam Raabe, Diana Lindsay, Helen Taylor, Steve Burr, Tia Reese, Jessie White, Charles Terry, Sue Van Etten, Logan Weiler, and Mark Winslow.