From Frank ... Oct 29
I have to remind myself that I actually love the month of November. With the fading light and disappearing green leaves, it’s easy for me to slip into focusing on the cold, and often dark, winter that I know is coming, rather than the mild days that we are actually experiencing. And yet, I’ve learned over recent years that I can choose what I focus on and that choice makes a huge difference on my general outlook.
I first became aware of the value of perspective when I was caring for my Aunt Catherine who had Alzheimer’s. I’d visit her daily at a nearby memory care residence because she could no longer live independently. When she quit speaking, I was so sad and felt that I’d lost my best friend. The irony is that without words, we found other ways to communicate. For example, because I knew her so well, just a certain look from her told me all I needed to know about how she felt. Or the touch of her hand against mine was comforting in a way that I’d never experienced when we relied on words to communicate. Somehow, I learned to pay attention to and focus on what she could do. Our relationship, ironically, grew deeper than it ever had been.
Celebrating Our Momentum
In the spirit of Thanksgiving (which we will officially celebrate in 27 days) and with the life lessons learned from my dear aunt, I’m choosing to stay in the present and focus on all the momentum the year has brought. The Village now boasts 156 members and 116 volunteers. We completed over 1,300 acts of kindness so far this year. That’s a lot of trips to the grocery store, rides to medical appointments, or small household chores done!
The Village now boasts 156 members and 116 volunteers. We completed over 1,300 acts of kindness so far this year.
Our volunteers, many of whom are also members, made well over 1,000 check-in calls and we offered over 300 programs of all kinds, including many that were open to the greater community, such as the vaccine clinic, balance assessment, and outdoor community concerts at the Maret School. We’ve also partnered with numerous community organizations and businesses and recruited 30+ individuals to serve as “apartment ambassadors” that help to publicize our programs and volunteer opportunities within their buildings.
Earlier this week, we convened our Program Advisory Committee who gave great ideas and feedback on what we might offer. Stay tuned in the near future for announcements about new neighborhood walks, educational programs, and social events!
I know there’s more work to do, just like I know winter is coming. But this month and right now, I’m choosing to focus on those things for which I am thankful. Somehow, in doing so, I’m given further energy and enthusiasm to meet the challenges that lie ahead.
An early, Happy Thanksgiving to all.
Frank Finamore is Executive Director of the Village