ACCOMPLISHMENTS Our Village has a new name!
We have renamed our Village! While our goals and target group are unchanged, we are now Silver Spring Village (instead of Downtown Silver Spring Senior Village). To go with our new name, we have new email and website addresses: email@example.com and www.silverspringvillage.org, respectively.
Our sites are set on a Fall launch!
Our new strategic plan calls for opening enrollment to members and volunteers mid-year, and launching services and activities in the Fall. Our Planning Group and committees are hard at work to ensure success in meeting this goal.
Survey results will help us meet seniors’ needs.
Our online survey identifies the services needed by seniors in downtown Silver Spring. For the more than 125 respondents – each representing a different household – transportation and recreation are, by far, the most requested services. Each of these services was selected by over 65% of all respondents. Meeting these needs, using a combination of volunteers and existing services, will be the highest priority for Silver Spring Village.
CURRENT PROJECTS “SPARKLE”
In partnership with Silver Spring Town Center, we have sponsored four successful SPARKLE (Senior Programs Aimed at Re-Kindling Lifetime Engagement) programs. The first, in October, was “Facebook for Seniors.” Subsequent monthly programs were called “Telling Your Life Story,” “Age and Stage®,” and “New Year, Fresh Start! Time to Organize.” The program on February 7 is called “Hidden Treasures: Storytelling Performance.” These monthly programs will continue at least through March 2013. All SPARKLE programs are free for seniors and held in the Silver Spring Civic Building in downtown Silver Spring at the corner of Fenton Street and Ellsworth Drive. For more information, call (301) 503-7401.
NEWS National study confirms importance of villages.
A new study from Rutgers University's School of Social Work concludes that villages like ours "have emerged as among the most nationally prominent models of community aging initiatives" and that villages are "an innovative model to help people remain in their homes and to connect with their communities throughout later life."
DSSSV is now incorporated as a nonprofit organization in Maryland. We are working on our 501(c)(3) application for federal tax-exempt status. Our survey to identify the services that are most needed by local seniors is ongoing; please complete the survey and we’ll report the results. DSSSV planners have convened outreach events for six of the civic associations within zip code 20910, and several other information sessions.
DSSSV is collaborating with Seabury Care Management on an event titled The Ethics of Aging in Place, to be offered on Friday, September 21; social workers may obtain continuing education credit. We’re collaborating with the Silver Spring Town Center on a six-part, monthly series on Health and Wellness, Work and Finance, and Technology for seniors. The first program will be in October at the civic building. (See www.silverspringtowncenter.com for details.) On Saturday October 27, DSSSV will have a booth at the Fenton Street Market. For more information about our plans, visit us there between 10:00 and 4:00.
Currently, 89 villages are operating across the country, in Canada, Australia and the Netherlands, with another 123 Village in development. DSSSV is actively involved with the Washington Area Village Exchange and the Village to Village Network, a national peer-to-peer network to help establish and continuously improve management of villages; a couple of DSSSV representatives will be attending the 4th Annual National Village Gathering this fall to learn how other villages are achieving success. A recent article in The Washington Post, titled “‘Village’ groups, home alterations help more elderly people keep the homes they love,” featured the accomplishments of villages in helping older adults live independently in their own homes.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS Preliminary survey results tabulated
Nearly 100 people have responded to our needs assessment survey. At the top of the list of desired services are transportation and recreation, both of which will be key elements in DSSSV’s service package. The Village will also assist with other frequently requested services that we cannot provide directly. For example, we will provide information, referrals, and discounts for vetted providers of such things as home health care, housework, and financial and legal matters.
CURRENT PROJECTS DSSSV is “on the road”
Representatives of DSSSV have an active schedule making presentations to community associations, religious organizations, condominium and apartment building residents. If your organization is located in zip code 20910 and you would like a presentation about DSSSV, please contact us. We are eager to speak to – and get input from -- potential members, financial supporters, volunteers, civic leaders, and service providers.
In preparation for the start of operations in 2013, we have finalized our articles of incorporation, bylaws, and conflict-of-interest policy. We are starting to tackle the remaining organizational requirements for obtaining 501(c)(3) status, develop budgets and fundraising plans, and identify the services and programs that will comprise our service package.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS Donations to DSSSV now tax-deductible We are delighted to announce the approval of DSSSV’s application for fiscal sponsorship by the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region. With this, all donations to DSSSV are now fully tax-deductible.* We believe that status as a sponsored program fund under the Community Foundation significantly improves our fundraising potential. And, obviously, that’s important! Before our planned “opening day” in Spring 2013, we must raise sufficient funds to obtain telephone and computer lines, set up an office, hire a coordinator, purchase insurance, etc. *Please note: Donation checks must be made payable to Community Foundation— Downtown Silver Spring Senior Village. Mail to: DSSSV Fund; c/o 500 Pershing Drive; Silver Spring, MD 20910.
A subcommittee of our Planning Group is drafting bylaws for the management and operation of DSSSV. When these are complete, we will submit our Articles of Incorporation to the State of Maryland. Next, DSSSV will apply to the Internal Revenue Service for recognition as a non-profit, tax-exempt organization [501(c) (3)] that is independent of the Community Foundation. The Planning Group now includes 14 active members, most of whom are residents and/or civic leaders in neighborhoods within the 20910 zip code. Planners are working aggressively to establish relationships with relevant Montgomery County agencies and organizations, learn from the experience of established villages, develop a database of contacts, and build interest in DSSSV. Three committees, focused on Administration, Fundraising, and Outreach, are busy conducting research, making plans, and speaking at community association meetings.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS Planning group holds outreach meetings
The Planning Group for the Downtown Silver Spring Senior Village (DSSSV) held two outreach meetings in August to provide an overview of the senior village concept. Questions and discussions at these meetings – attended by over 40 persons – indicated interest in and need for such an organization in our area. Responses to our questionnaire have identified specific areas of senior needs and interest. Those mentioned most frequently included: social/ recreational activities, home maintenance, transportation, legal services, and locating existing services. Additionally, several respondents expressed an interest in becoming a volunteer.
To further diversify our outreach, we will be contacting area churches and have a presence at community functions. We will also provide information to area publications, Maryland AARP, and neighborhood newsletters and listservs.
We are currently grappling with what type of organization will best fit our needs. Toward this end, we are in contact with other successful and emerging senior villages, including many in the metro area, to see what has worked best for them.
Specifically, we’re investigating organizational goals and structure, financial planning and management, website development, and volunteer recruitment. We are recruiting people who are interested in helping now with the planning process, and we are building a database of those who want to participate once our Village is operational – either as volunteers providing services or as members receiving services.