For The Review, Tidings
Seniors living in Lake Oswego, West Linn and the Stafford hamlet who wish to continue living in their homes as they age got a boost June 3, when WLLO Village volunteer services began.
The WLLO Village is an all-volunteer virtual community that helps members navigate the opportunities and realities of aging.
All are invited to attend a free launch celebration taking place from 6 to 7:30 p.m. June 11, at Oswego Heritage House, 398 10th St., Lake Oswego.
WLLO Village is part of a larger network of villages in the Pacific Northwest and nation aimed at supporting people who choose to age in their own homes and communities by creating a network of trained volunteers, offering social events, and providing access to local resources and vetted service providers to help its members feel comfortable, supported and socially connected.
After two years of planning and outreach the first members have been enrolled and volunteers are signed up.
"We are neighbors helping neighbors stay neighbors," said Christine Kennedy, WLLO Village chair.
"It is gratifying to hear from people who have been watching our progress and who now are offering to volunteer and or become members," she said. "We are grateful for the hard work of our volunteers, support from Villages NW and other local villages all of which have helped us launch in less than two years from our initial commitment."
"I hope that the WLLO team takes time to take a deep breath and a moment to appreciate how much they have accomplished," said Charlie Mayer, president of Villages NW. "The unique village model of volunteers supporting those in our community who need a little help and social connection as they grow older sends a powerful message in today's world."
Villages are created by people who want to offer new affordable options and support for those who are aging in their homes and communities.
In addition to building a new virtual community, and offering opportunities for social connection, help is also provided in other areas. These include mastering electronics, changing a light bulb, managing paperwork and help with light gardening or housework.
Villages NW data shows that door-to-door rides are the most popular request.
The costs of doing business such as financial management, insurance, background checks and marketing requires a membership fee.
The village philosophy is to work hard to keep this affordable. Membership fee is less than $1 per day for associate members and less than $2 per day for full-service members who need more frequent help from volunteers.
WLLO Village is one of 11 villages in the Portland metro area. All operate under the umbrella of Villages NW, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. WLLO Village is the first village to launch in Clackamas County with two other villages in development.
More than 200 villages have formed across the country since the first one started in a Boston neighborhood more than 20 years ago.
All wishing to attend the free launch event are asked to RSVP by calling 503-479-8393.
Oswego Heritage House is located at 398 10th St. in Lake Oswego.
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