A Message from our President Eva Cohen
My first year as president of Bradley Hills Village ends soon - what do we count as accomplishments?
Neighbors have gotten to know each other through activities like the book discussion group and through social and educational events which have been detailed in earlier newsletters. Board members have planned for
the day when the Village will begin to provide one of its core missions - neighbors assisting neighbors with errands, household tasks, transportation and other services.
A key focus for me throughout the year has been to solicit volunteer support for the development of the organization, not an easy task in a community of active involved residents and world travelers with limited time. We are fortunate to have two new Board members join in November -- Gail Douglas who is
heading up the Service Volunteer Committee and Karen Spar, who performs research in support of specific issues. We are delighted to have them as we also hope to welcome additional committed volunteers to our group soon. As the year ends, we thank Melissa Crown who leaves the Board after serving as the first chair of the BHV Social Activities Committee. Under her leadership, many activities got started that we intend to continue and expand, as evidenced by the Events column.
What then is in store for 2016? In February we will offer the first training for Volunteers in preparation for launching service delivery March 1, 2016. We expect to launch a member campaign quite soon. BHV decided early to adopt a membership Village model where a combination of member dues, donations, and grants cover Village costs. Our activities up to now have been largely financed by individual Board members, the many volunteers who have provided hospitality for social activities in their homes, and a few donors. We are grateful to all for this support. In the long run however, even with an all volunteer staff, there are expenses that we cannot expect a few individuals to fund. BHV member fees will modest - think less for a year's worth of membership than you often pay for one theater ticket, a few movies, or an evening of eating out.
Why do we think you will join? We think you will join because you believe in the Village idea and because you want to surround yourself with others who share the goal of living in a supportive neighborhood. You want to interact with others, you want new experiences, and you want to be a part of this movement.
Summer went quickly it seems and it is hard to believe we are in the last quarter of the year 2015 already. We recently held our third Community meeting, at which we had the pleasure of hearing Jim Resnick, Senior Outreach and Education Program Manager of the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service, talk about home safety issues. Who could have guessed that learning about smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detectors could be so entertaining? We are fortunate to have someone of his experience, caliber and concern available to counsel homeowners on these important safety issues. He has offered to return so that those who couldn’t make this presentation have another chance and also to sign up for home safety inspections as many did at our meeting.
Jim also described the “File of Life” program introduced as a community initiative in Montgomery County. It is a packet, which can be obtained from the Fire and Rescue Service, which, when filled out by a resident, enables Fire and Rescue personnel to obtain a quick and accurate medical history when a patient or family member is unable to offer one. We are pleased to be able to provide these Village educational programs and will continue to do so. Again, we thank him, on behalf of the Village -- he was received enthusiastically by an engaged audience.
Our approach to Social Activities, as well as to educational programs has been to try out a variety of things and see what happens. The book club is growing with 10 attendees at its last meeting as reported by Carol Ann Rudolph! This quarter a few new opportunities to attend cultural events are announced. Village participants offer a ride to select events someone might otherwise hesitate to attend alone. If you have ideas for similar new things to try – at least once – let Melissa Crown know.
One of our most important activities in the coming quarter is to begin to offer training for future Village volunteers. Gail Douglas is our designated Village “Training Manager” who will coordinate these trainings beginning in November and December. If you are not already on the list to be contacted by her, let her know of your interest at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 301-652-1123. Or send us a note at the Village gmail-address below!
Eva Cohen, Oct. 1, 2015
With everyone on the exploratory committee returning from vacation-village activities are in full gear.
The villages in Montgomery County have a quarterly meeting to share information on their activities, how they are organized, and programs they are offering. On September 8, thirteen people met from eight villages in Montgomery County to share information. A summary (word document) of the Village activities shows that this is an important movement.
Montgomery County Police is starting a grassroots organization that focuses on reducing victimization of older citizens. The group will include county police personnel, sheriff's offices, community leaders and older citizens, working together to enhance the delivery of law enforcement services to senior citizens. They are starting an advisory council that will hold its first meeting on October 9, from 11am to 12:30pm, at 4 D Station - Conference Room,
2300 Randolph Road, Wheaton.