Pasadena Village Welcomes Growing Number of Community Volunteers

Published : Thursday, September 12, 2013 | 10:33 PM

The Pasadena Village, a non-profit organization serving older adults in the San Gabriel Valley, is growing, and its volunteer program is keeping pace. Since its successful Anniversary Celebration in June, the Village has welcomed 19 new members into its caring community, surpassing the 100-member mark and clocking in at 114 as of September 12.

This increase in membership has led to an increase in requests for Village services, such as local transportation and light home repairs. As a volunteer-first organization, the Pasadena Village relies on a team of dedicated do-gooders to provide most of its member services. Only when a qualified volunteer cannot be found does the Pasadena Village refer its members to preferred providers.

Since welcoming its first charter members in June of 2012, Pasadena Village volunteers have provided over 219 rides, completed 41 household repairs, provided technical assistance on over 20 occasions, and made countless friendly phone calls and visits. The Village also relies on volunteers to staff its planning committees and assist in the office.

The majority of the Pasadena Village’s volunteers are members themselves, which creates a tight-knit community of mutual support. “By asking for services, by needing something, you’re actually providing a service to those who then have a chance to make a connection with you and to learn from you,” says Sue Kujawa, Executive Director.

While the core of its 84-person-strong volunteer program is made up of Village members, in recent months the Pasadena Village has welcomed nine additional non-member volunteers, bringing the total number of community volunteers to 17. Most of these non-member volunteers became involved with the Pasadena Village after attending one of its many public presentations and informational gatherings, and some even found the Village on their own.

Like many Village members, these non-member volunteers were searching for a meaningful way to contribute to their community. “One of the perks of being retired is having time to help my neighbors. The Pasadena Village is a great way to put me in touch with those who can use my help,” says Robert Holmes, one of the Village’s many enthusiastic non-member volunteers. The generosity and openness of the Village’s non-member volunteers allows them to integrate seamlessly into the Pasadena Village’s caring community of older adults.

The Pasadena Village is committed to strengthening its members’ personal networks so that they have the support they need to age successfully. Several Village members have developed friendships with volunteers and have begun requesting their favorite individuals when asking for services. “She says she’ll take me anywhere–we’ve gotten to be good friends, too. Sometimes we call each other for different things,” says Martha Martinez, a member who has formed a close bond with a volunteer driver named BJ (Barbara) Bardwell. It is these types of personal connections that the Village encourages with its social activities, such as the upcoming October picnic for members and volunteers.

The Pasadena Village is a membership organization connecting people 55 and older to programs, services and cultural activities that enable them to enjoy safe, healthy, satisfying, and fruitful lives. By helping members stay independent, active, and connected, the Pasadena Village creates a network of people committed to helping one another age successfully. For more information about the Pasadena Village, including its many volunteer opportunities, visit www.pasadenavillage.org.

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