Stories from the NFCCA Newsletter, the “Northwood News”

Northwood News ♦ October 2019

We’re Now Part of Silver Spring Village

By Sue Decker, Silver Spring Village

For those who have heard of Silver Spring Village, we are happy to announce that we are expanding into your neighborhood!  For those who don’t know us, Silver Spring Village is a local nonprofit and part of the national “village movement.”  The Village Movement refers to nonprofit organizations whose mission is to build and sustain a supportive network of neighbors helping neighbors to remain actively engaged in their community and remain in their own homes as they age.  The Village Movement started in Boston 15+ years ago and today there are over 200 open Villages and more than 150 in development across the country.  We are fortunate to have about 40 Villages in the D.C. region.

One Villager drives another.

Silver Spring Village began six years ago and was recently recognized as one of the best community-based nonprofits in the D.C. region by the Catalogue of Philanthropy, a highly competitive selection process and a testament to our strong management team, volunteers, and members.  Silver Spring Village is considered one of the “fun villages” in the region because of our extensive list of social and educational activities that are offered to all of our members.  This includes interest groups focused on philosophy, memoir writing, poetry, painting, knitting, bridge, mahjong, canasta, movies, theater, culinary arts, nature walks, and more.  We also host a monthly speaker series that has included talks by a Washington Post journalist, a Helen Hayes awarded actor, and professors in art and economics.

Teens give seniors tutorials on how to use cell phones.

We offer two types of memberships—associate (or “social”) and full.  Full members are eligible to receive our volunteer services in addition to the fun activities listed above.  Volunteer services include rides, minor home repairs, decluttering, medical notetaking, friendly home visits and calls, assistance with electronic devices, and more.  When we began the Village, we welcomed associate members from anywhere, but because of limited resources, we could only offer full membership to our neighbors living in zip code 20910.  About three years ago, we also started to offer full memberships to neighbors living within a mile of 20910, which included zip code 20901 to the Beltway.  We are now pleased to announce our expansion of full membership to all of 20901.

You must have a chess club!

Why are we expanding?  We receive inquiries from people living in 20901 seeking our services and have been unable to assist them.  This expansion will fill the need for a Village in an area where there is no Village.  It allows us to have greater community impact, increases our long-term sustainability, and enhances our mission of helping seniors age in place.  Our Board’s decision to expand our service area is based on the recommendation of a strategic assessment group that consisted of six Village members and volunteers who held extensive interviews with leaders from eight other Villages nationwide to learn how they managed growth and met the changing needs of their members.  After hearing what leaders had to say, we were satisfied that we can expand our geographic area while sustaining the same level of services and sense of community that we currently enjoy.

A nature walking group enjoys the outdoors and friendship.

When?  We are beginning now by recruiting and training volunteers who live in zip code 20901.  We will actively recruit full members from the new area when we are confident that we have enough trained volunteers to maintain our current levels of satisfaction and service fulfillment.  If you or someone you know might be interested in volunteering or becoming a member, please send them our way!

Our volunteer program is very flexible, allowing volunteers to pick when and what they would like to do.  We love our volunteers and offer training as well as fun social events to show our appreciation.  Many of our volunteers are also members, but that is not required.

‘Pi Day’ (3/14) means pie!

Membership dues cover about 20–25% of our expenses.  Associate membership dues are $150/year for an individual and $250/year for a couple, while full membership dues are $350/year for an individual and $450/year for a couple.  We also offer reduced membership dues to applicants with limited income.

Here’s what some of our members say they love about the Village:

Here’s what some of our volunteers say they love:

We have built a solid foundation and the necessary infrastructure to bring Village benefits to even more of our Silver Spring neighbors.  We are excited and proud to implement this change.  We hope you will join us in making Silver Spring an even better place to live by building community as we age!  You can find more information at or call us at 301.503.7401.  We’ll be talking more about Silver Spring Village at your neighborhood association meeting on 16 October as well.   ■

   © 2019 NFCCA  [Source:]