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Frequently Asked Questions

 

Questions about Villages

 

1. Why should I join if I am healthy and active? 

You can attend many interesting educational, cultural, and social programs. You will have access to a list of vendors recommended by other members that can help you to take care of regular needs such as major house maintenance, regular house cleaning, and personal services. You can volunteer to help other members as you are able. Plus, you never know when you might need a little extra help due to a medical condition or accident.

2. Who runs a Village?

Villages are run by their members, who nominate and elect a Village Council. Day-to-day operations are handled by teams of volunteers who provide services to members and perform all the Village operations. If a village has the funds, they may choose to employ part-time or full-time staff who report to the council.

3. How are Villages funded?

They are supported by a combination of membership fees, grants and fundraising.

4. Why does the Village need to raise funds if it is an all-volunteer organization?

Even though the Village is run by volunteers, there are operating expenses which need to be covered such as office rent, liability insurance, telephone, equipment and supplies, volunteer background checks, technology fees, advertising, event venue rental, etc.

5. I don't live in your area, but my parents do. Can I pay for their membership?

Yes! This is a great gift to give your parents and to know that they have a community there to help them. They will still need to go through the membership process so that we, and they, can make sure this fits their needs and we can deliver the services they may need in the future.

6. How are membership fees used?

Membership fees pay for the operating expenses of the Village.

7. Are there any other Villages operational in the Pacific NW?

There are many grassroots Villages up and running in the Pacific NW, including ten in the Portland Metro area, each tailored to the specific needs of their communities. To learn more about each of the Villages NW villages in the Portland area, go to  Villages NW for links to their websites. You can also go to Village to Village Network  to locate other villages.

 6. Can I move my membership to another village if I move?

  • If you are a member of a Village within Villages NW, your move will be handled internally and you won't need to change how your membership fees are being paid until your expiration date occurs.
  • If you are a member of a Village outside of Villages NW, how your move is handled is based on the policies of the two villages involved. 

 

Membership

 

1. Can anyone join?

You should be aged 55 or older or 18+ with a chronic illness or disability.

2. What's the best way to find out about Membership?

Please attend a Village Informational Session to get most of your questions answered and be able to decide which type of membership suits you best. To find out when our next Village 101 is scheduled, please check our Village Calendar or call 503-207-8729.

3. I’m not in the service area but want to join, what should I do?

Look for other villages on the Village to Village Network and Villages NW websites. If you don’t find any in your area, consider organizing a group to form one, with the help of the above organizations.

4. What does it cost to be a member?

The membership types and costs are provided on the Membership Levels & Fees page.  Village Without Walls is committed to establishing a scholarship fund to help subsidize memberships for low-income seniors. As funding is available we will work with other partners and agencies to identify how to use those resources.

5. Are members required to be volunteers?

Members are enourage, but not required to volunteer for the Village. However, many of our current members volunteer by providing services or as operating team members.

6. I don't live in your area, but my parents do. Can I pay for their membership?

Yes! This is a great gift to give your parents and to know that they have a community there to help them. They will still need to go through the membership process so that we, and they, can make sure this fits their needs and we can deliver the services they may need in the future.

7. Can I upgrade or downgrade my membership?

You can make changes to your membership level on your next renewal date.

8. Can there be more than one level of membership in a household?

Yes, this is possible. For more details, please call 503-207-8729 or email vww4info@gmail.com.

9. Are members required to attend meetings?

Members are encouraged to attend Village meetings, but not required. Only members who attend the Annual Meeting may vote in the election of governing council members.

 

Volunteering

 

1. Is there a required time committment for volunteers?

No. Most volunteer time requirements are flexible based on your availability.

2. Do I have to be a member to volunteer?

No.  We have a number of volunteers in the age range of 20-60 years old who do not plan to be members for many years. We welcome volunteers of all ages and backgrounds who believe in providing a way to help seniors stay in their communities and continue to thrive.

3. What's the process to become a volunteer?

Contact us to discuss your interests by sending an email to vwwvolunteermgr@gmail.com. We will then arrange a phone or in-person interview with you and, if you are ready to commit to volunteering, we ask you to complete a volunteer application and background check.

4. What training do you provide volunteers?

Volunteers receive general volunteer training before they start. Those volunteers who wish to provide transportation services are required to take both online training and driving tests before qualifying as drivers. Other volunteers will receive any necessary training needed to complete their tasks.

5. Do you have single project opportunities?

Please contact us at 503-207-8729 or vwwvolunteermgr@gmail.com to discuss any single project opportunities available.

6. Is there an age restriction for volunteering?

All volunteers must be 18 years or older unless supervised by an adult volunteer.