What Is Village Neighbors?
Village Neighbors, a program of Island Community House, helps seniors of Chincoteague live safely and independently in their own homes for as long as possible, while having meaningful connections with others. This is accomplished by organizing a pool of vetted volunteers who provide practical help and socialization.
- friendly home visits
- social outings & events
- convenience services
- computer & technology assistance
- help with light household tasks
- assistance with errands
Village Neighbors serve seniors of all social-economic backgrounds through membership fees or sponsorships. Membership fees cover administrative costs and donations support sponsorships for those who cannot afford to pay for a membership. Our fee is $20 per month or $240 annually. Fees alone will not cover all the expenses of running a Village. Learn more about becoming a Village Neighbor Member, Volunteer, or Supporter at the Village Neighbors website.
A Little History…
The Village movement springs from the recognition that local government, families, neighbors, churches, and friends increasingly cannot meet all the needs of the rapidly growing senior population. One solution has been for communities to organize themselves to provide help in innovative ways.
It all started with a survey. Sponsored by the Island Community House, an island-wide survey was mailed in November, 2021. The purpose of the survey was to assess the needs of island residents over 60, and to determine if there were enough potential volunteers to support a Village. The response was overwhelmingly positive.
The groundwork began and within a year, Village Neighbors became a fully-operating program of Chincoteague Island.
“Each Village is unique,” explains Lisa Cannon, Board Chair for the Island Community House. “Although it is a national movement, each community decides what services are most needed and what their volunteers can provide.” She notes, “Villages are meant to add to and enhance what is available locally for seniors, not compete with or replace existing services.”
We often receive calls from people who would like to volunteer in the very personal ways that a Village provides. From the surveys, we learned our older residents desire social outlets and practical help in their homes. Over 40 citizens of Chincoteague expressed interest in being involved with Village Neighbors.