Volunteer Spotlight: Marissa with Arlington Neighborhood Village
The vast majority of older Americans want to age in their own homes. Arlington Neighborhood Village (ANV) was founded in 2013 to help our neighbors do just that. Our goal is to provide services and support to our more than 215 members, aged 55+, so that they can live vibrant, independent lives in their own homes and community.
ANV is a volunteer-managed grassroots nonprofit, supported by membership dues and fundraising and driven by a large, intergenerational volunteer corps. ANV offers both direct services like help with errands, transportation to doctor appointments, small household tasks, and daily check-in calls, and a strong social network to help seniors remain connected to the community. In 2017, ANV’s more than 200 volunteers fulfilled over 2,200 service requests and drove more than 29,000 miles.
ANV volunteers range in age from 22 - 87. They provide direct service to members and also manage and oversee all of ANV’s operations – from technology systems to events planning and execution. ANV volunteers schedule and respond to service requests, plan and participate in programs, recruit members and volunteers, and provide administrative support to ANV operations.
Marissa, one of our volunteers, has a hectic schedule, but makes time for ANV. She has been engaged in public service and volunteering since she was a young teen, visiting her great-grandmother in a nursing home and then returning as a teen to volunteer there. When she was old enough to drive, she volunteered to run errands for seniors in her hometown. Now, she supports ANV evenings and weekends, serving on our Volunteer Committee. She recruits new volunteers on social media sites, interviews prospective volunteers, and helps ANV to expand our horizons and broaden our outreach.
Our volunteers find that personal connections make volunteering meaningful for both sides. The conversations and time spent with members enrich their lives; relationships are formed that go well beyond the services provided. Members are being assisted by others in the community who genuinely care about their well-being, are interested in their lives, and want to spend time with them.
ANV offers opportunities for people of all ages to become involved. Our volunteers either already are or through volunteering with ANV become passionate about their neighbors and their community. Volunteers can give as little as a few hours here and there to hundreds of hours throughout the year. Flexibility is a cornerstone of ANV service.
ANV is part of a nationwide movement, with more than 300 villages and counting, and 14 in the VA metro area. If you are interested in a meaningful volunteer experience that connects you to some of the most interesting and engaging citizens in your community, sign up with ANV or a village in your area.