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  • Writer's pictureJoan Dailey

Looking Back at 2020

Looking Back at the Village's 2020 Achievements

Seems like all I’ve read about lately is how glad everyone is that this pandemic year is ending. But as we rush with hope into 2021, let’s not indulge in an annual airing of grievances; instead, let’s look back at the good that occurred! Our Village had a remarkable year despite the pandemic – and in many cases, because of it. Let me count the ways . . . .

  1. New Executive Director. Our new Executive Director, Frank Finamore, started with us on January 6,, 2020. Frank’s visionary thinking and hard work have been an inspiration to everyone. Much of what follows below is due in no small part to his ideas, encouragement, and efforts.

  2. First Valentine Writing Party. Before the lockdown, several members had fun getting together to write Valentine cards to their favorite Village members.

  3. We Adapted to COVID. To protect our members and volunteers, we quickly took our meetings and activities to Zoom. This led to a host of new “firsts” for Village activities, many of which will become post-COVID fixtures on our calendar, including: zoom trainings, poetry group, creative writing group, gratitude circle, stretching classes, three chef-led cooking demonstrations, weekly meal deliveries by several neighborhood families, virtual seder, free outdoor concerts (socially distanced!), virtual Hanukkah party, "dial-a-docent" cultural tours, holiday meal deliveries (Christmas and Thanksgiving)

  4. Oldies But Goodies Continued. We continued our sponsorship of the Tuesday Talk lecture series, which transitioned to Zoom after the shutdown. We also hosted a pre-shutdown, in-person Village Salon on the S.S. United States, and we expect to offer more salons when it’s safe to gather indoors.

  5. First Virtual Fundraiser. The Summer Spritz was a resounding success and a boatload of fun! We received over $30,000 in individual donations, and the hottest auction item was dinner for 8 created by our own Frank Finamore, a former personal chef!

  6. Flu Shot Clinic. In October, we hosted a free outdoor flu clinic for our members in partnership with the Broadmoor and Giant Pharmacy.

  7. DC Hope Grant. Partnering with 2 other DC villages (Northwest Neighbors & Palisades) and Sibley Memorial Hospital, we received a grant that enabled us to distribute cloth and disposable masks and hand sanitizer and offer 3 free virtual COVID-19 information sessions from medical experts.

  8. Donor Relations. In October, we published our first quarterly newsletter to donors to showcase how their generosity enables us to serve our members. We also made it easy for anyone to donate to the Village when we enabled electronic donations through Facebook, text messaging, and banking apps. We also started a Legacy Donor Campaign for those who wish to ensure the long-term sustainability of the Village through one of several types of charitable bequests.

  9. Coat Drive for Martha's Table. Collectively we donated a car load of winter clothing and coats to others in our city.

  10. Strategic Planning Efforts. The Board adopted a revised mission, vision and values statement and is engaged in strategic planning exercises designed to ensure a vibrant, flexible and sustainable Village for years to come.

  11. First Holiday Cookie Swap. Each participant baked a batch of cookies (like these chewy ginger snaps) in exchange for an assortment of cookies baked by all the other participants. YUM! Many thanks to Board Co-Chair, Sandy Rubin, for leading this effort!

  12. New website. In December, we launched our new website It’s easier to navigate and has lots of practical resources, including information on COVID-19, community organizations, and the Village calendar of activities and events. Check it out! Special thanks for Board member, Paul Frick, for his phenomenal work on this project.

All these successes get me excited for what the Village can do in 2021. So sure, let’s get this pandemic over with, but let’s have fun in the meantime – together, as a Village.

Happy New Year!


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