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  • Claire Thompson

From Claire ... | May 28

It’s hard to believe, but this past Wednesday marked my five-year anniversary of working at Cleveland & Woodley Park Village. Back when I first arrived, I was 25 years old and fresh out of my first internship post-college; the Village was my first “real job.” I started out as the Village’s part-time Office Manager, admittedly not really knowing anything about the Village movement. On my first day, I attended the going away party of my predecessor and had a chance to meet many Village members right away. It dawned on me pretty quickly that this job was a special opportunity to not only help members of a great community, but also to become a part of a community myself.

As the years have passed, it’s been both exciting and gratifying to watch our Village grow. Like the neighborhoods we serve, it’s a constantly changing landscape of both new and familiar faces. While we always emphasize the role of the Village in helping older adults age in place, I’ve always felt that the true heart of the Village is the way it fosters friendships and connections that might not have happened without it. I’ve watched neighbors go from strangers to close friends many times, while gaining new friendships myself along the way.

While the pandemic brought us difficult circumstances and a lot of changes, in the end it has also facilitated a great period of growth and evolution for our Village. Our members and volunteers have come together and showed up for one another in truly inspiring ways while staving off much of the isolation and hardship that the pandemic brought with it. As we emerge on the other side, I’m excited to see all that’s in store for us in the times ahead!


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