2017: Bradley Hills Village made significant progress in 2017 on all fronts – membership, events, newsletter readership and volunteer activities. Our year began with our February 2017 Annual Meeting held on a Sunday afternoon at the Woman’s Club of Bethesda, with new Congressman Jamie Raskin as our featured speaker. Over 120 people attended and we gained 11 new members that afternoon and had over 40 people sign up to receive our newsletter. Best of all, from our perspective of being committed to building an intergenerational village, we had participation from diverse age groups in our communities. This event helped spread the word about the Village and one result was an expansion of our “service” area to include two neighboring communities.
In our Spring membership renewal drive, we achieved 100% renewal among both full and associate members. Our newsletter routinely achieves a 55-60% read rate and we provided the newsletter by mail to 12 members who prefer hard copy to email.
We continued to provide various services, including handyman, friendly visits, transportation, package pickup, and pet feeding. We continue to have more volunteers than requests for assistance and are challenged to find new and better ways of reaching out. This summer we were able to take advantage of a unique neighborhood program, Front Yard Fridays, to spread the word about the Village throughout our area. Different neighbors take turns on a purely voluntary basis of hosting an informal get together at which all are welcome, including children. These gatherings attract people of all ages and stages and we have been able to distribute our Village brochures at these events. By the end of the summer, most participants were familiar with the Village.
We cohosted with our local neighborhood association a very successful summer picnic, had BHV night at Bethesda Big Train Baseball, and continued our very successful Coffee & Company, Bridge Club and Book Discussion Group. A new Movie group was organized. We cosponsored several events with other Villages, continued our Snow Shovel Brigade and held a Book Talk by Author Laura Kumin about the foods and cooking of the era of Alexander Hamilton.
Our Board expanded to nine members and we were successful in obtaining grants from Montgomery County and Suburban Hospital. We hired our first part time staff director, Terri Silver, in November and with her assistance expect to expand our programs in 2018. We are now test piloting a program of home visits and we are set to begin in January a series of home visits to every member. A project with Suburban Hospital regarding helping Village members with hospitalization and post operation care is underway.
2016: To all of you who have become members, volunteers for the Village, or both, we say Thank You! Your support means everything as without volunteers or members, there would not be a Village!
To expand our volunteer corps, we are offering another training session on Saturday, April 16, 2016 10-noon, at the BCC Regional Services Center, Room B, 4805 Edgemoor Lane, Bethesda, MD 20814 (directions below under April 12 event). If you have not filled in a volunteer application, please print and complete it, and send it to Gail Douglas at the address listed on the volunteer application form.
If you have not sent in your membership application, please print and complete that, and send it with your check to Steve Borko at the address listed on the membership form. Remember that the Associate Membership fee of $75 is fully tax deductible, and that portions of your Full membership also may be tax deductible to the full extent of the law.
Bradley Hills Village now is approved for “Student Service Learning” hours for select projects or activities undertaken on behalf of the Village. Later in 2016 we will work with Whitman High School and Pyle Middle School to define what some of these activities will be. If you are interested in serving as a liaison to the Schools’ respective SSL coordinators, please let us know.
Board meetings are open to Village members so please let one of the Board members (see list at end of message) know if you’d like to attend and we’ll provide date and location.