Who We Are
Village Connections is an urban, community-based non-profit organization that empowers members to lead an active and engaged lifestyle in their own homes as they age. By providing a network of high-quality volunteers and resources for members’ evolving needs, this grassroots organization offers information and referrals to cost-effective services and activities designed to enhance members’ health and wellness, support their social, educational, and cultural interests, and foster member-to-member volunteer support.
Our organization mobilizes residents of several historic, urban neighborhoods who wish to stay in their homes as long as possible as they age. It also activates neighborhood volunteers who assist members with transportation and minor household chores and screens vendors who provide discounted home maintenance, home care, and other services. In addition, Village Connections develops strategic civic, corporate, educational, and health alliances to deliver services and programs, stretch resources, and rigorously evaluate its program outcomes. Volunteers are carefully vetted by Village Connections staff.
All members receiving services are at least 50 years of age and pay annual dues of $500 per person or $750 annually for a two-person household. As funds allow, annual dues are reduced to $100 for members with documented financial needs. Because active villages have not supported all operating expenses with membership income, fundraising is important for village sustainability.
The success of Village Connections depends on a sustained and satisfied membership, delivery of quality, affordable services, maintenance of strategic partnerships, successful fundraising, the careful selection and oversight of vendors, and the recruitment, training, and retention of many volunteers.
Village Connections is part of a movement of Villages. With considerable help from the Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging, the members of the German Village Society’s Long Range Planning Committee extensively researched the best practices of successful villages across the United States.
Spearheaded by long-term German Village residents, Village Connections was the first of its type in Ohio. However, the village’s strategic plan and initial budget were informed by a systematic review of the best practices of a growing number of other successful Villages that had developed across the country to help achieve that goal.
The inspiration that led to a groundswell of support for Village Connections came from long-term residents of German Village and the German Village Society’s Long Range Planning Committee. Many residents told Village founders that they strongly want to age in their historic homes in their special neighborhood. They also want to stay connected, engaged, and healthy. In February 2010 one such resident asked the German Village Society to consider establishing an aging-in-place community program modeled after the successful Beacon Hill Village.
The German Village Society’s Long Range Planning Committee carefully researched the national Village movement, reviewed local census data, surveyed residents, conducted roundtable discussions with interested neighbors, and consulted with Village directors in similar communities. During project planning, two of the Capitol Hill (Washington, D.C.) Village founders visited German Village as consultants. To establish best practices, planners studied the business models and operations of several existing villages. The German Village group also joined the national Village to Village network and participated in statewide Village development activities organized by the Ohio Department on Aging.
In February 2012, the German Village Society’s trustees extended support by agreeing to act as the 501 (c)(3) fiscal agent for pilot grants and donations while the Village Connections secured its own tax-exempt status. The Society has also graciously provided office and meeting space