OUR MISSION: Connecting Neighbors for Friendship and Well-being in Life's Third Act
HOW OUR VILLAGE GOT STARTED
Eastside Neighbors Network (ENN) had its start in June, 2015, with six retired and semi-retired TELOS students who were inspired by a TELOS class on aging titled, Being Mortal: What Matters in the End. The class was taught by Ellen Berg, a member of the Wider Horizons Village in Seattle, whose passion for her village was enough to inspire the launch of ENN three years later.
Since then, we have been learning about villages in other communities and how they run, and exploring the interests, needs, and talents of older residents in our area. We have been offering public programs to bring residents together around common interests, building relationships within our city government and professional and community organizations, and developing our organizational structure and processes. Our Pilot Program, launched in June 2018, tested every aspect of our Member Services and Volunteer Matching system. Over 30 Pilot Members and Volunteers stepped up to organize and participate in our programs. Throughout the Pilot Program, Board Members encouraged all participants to get involved and give us feedback to help us refine and prepare for the transition to a fully functioning Village in January of 2019.
Our village "went live" in January of 2019. In December, we celebrated our 30-odd members and 20-odd volunteers at a Recogntion and Appreciation program at The Gardens at Town Square. Below, a warm-up exercise led by our Meditation Group leader, Perlas Sapida.
What is a "Virtual Village"?
A Virtual Village is a member-driven, grassroots, non-profit community organization that brings neighbors together to help one another thrive, remain independent and make new friends as they progress through their retirement years. A Village is not a geographical place, but a plan rooted in changing how our culture thinks about aging, what our older generations can do with their lives, and how they access help if they need it.
Life's "Third Act" begins at retirement and can last for decades; we believe these years should be a time of learning, growth, and friendship, even if physical health may not be the best.