Whenever I talk to a prospective member about our community or even to an existing member about renewing their membership, I’m fairly certain to say “I don’t want to be a used car salesman but I’ll just point out some of the benefits of membership that others have said they enjoy.”
I like to use that expression about not being a used car salesman because before I could even drive, I actually worked as a used car salesman! I helped out a family friend who happened to own a farm, on which I learned to drive both a tractor and a 1969 Cadillac El Dorado with the cool flip up lights – both sweet memories, and perhaps why I love vintage cars. Having proved myself as a worthy farmhand I went to work at the farm owner’s other business, a used car lot on Route One just North of Fredericksburg.
It’s safe to say that at fifteen, and without even a driving permit, I didn’t really know much about what I was selling. I can remember trying to get someone to buy a step van, but he balked when he realized that I was too young to go with him on the test drive. Every good thing that I’d told him about the vehicle went out the window once he knew I didn’t have any real experience!
Talking about membership, however, is quite different. Members, and sometimes family members of our members, tell me that they join for a myriad of reasons: to make new friends, attend specific classes, get help with essential things like transportation to medical appointments or grocery deliveries, or just as an insurance policy if they find themselves in a predicament and need some assistance. We’re an intentional community that doesn’t need a salesman because the value of such an organization is often self-evident.
What I didn’t know before my mother’s recent fall, however, is just how important having emotional support and physical assistance is when recovering from the unexpected. It really does take a Village, and in my case, a very large family that feels a lot like a Village. I had sisters and nieces and friends fly in from all over the country to assist me to care for my mother. She’s making great progress, by the way, and will be back at our Stretching Class soon, I suspect. (She is, of course, a member!) Having this experience is why I am so glad that we are piloting our first “care team” to assist and support a member when she is discharged from the hospital.
Thank you to our first Care Team members
A special thank you to the three people that stepped up to be part of our first care team! I’m thrilled to add this to the list of ways that we support our members. If you know of anyone that might benefit from our community, send them my way! My email is simple: Frank@CWPV.org I promise not to give them the hard (step van) sell, but rather I’ll just tell all the stories that you’ve told or shown me.
P.S. Coincidentally, it’s time for me to go car shopping. Although I really want an all-electric vehicle to help save the planet from more CO2 emissions, I’m sorely tempted to look on e-Bay for a 69 Caddy. It was a sweet ride with sleek lines and those slim rear lights.
Frank Finamore is Executive Director of the Village