Welcome to our Village Stories page, where you can hear from our members and volunteers about the value of Lamorinda Village in creating community, helping us maintain our independence, and offering us opportunities to contribute our time and talents to others.
Ruth McCahan, Founder and First President of Lamorinda Village
If you ask Ruth McCahan what is most satisfying as she watches the growth of the Village, she'll tell you something like this: "I am so pleased when I see our members making connections - and remaking connections - within the community. Often seniors, especially those who are single, need to reestablish their social circles as others leave the community for one reason or another. They love coming to our events and getting to know other members and volunteers."
"One of the strengths of the Village is that although there are all kinds of individual resources out there, we can provide this system of one-stop shopping", Ruth explains. Also important, to date the Village has offered more than 30 social and educational events.
When asked to reflect on the path to this date, she says "I've been so impressed with the background, credentials, and knowledge that our volunteers and Board members bring to the organization. It's their strong commitment to helping others and paying it forward that makes it work. "
"We have had wonderful support from the local individuals and organizations like Rotary, the Chambers of Commerce, and partners like Senior Helpline Services, the three branch libraries, St. Mary's College, John Muir Health, and the Lafayette Orinda Presbyterian Church. The Lafayette Community Foundation sponsored us during the wait for our nonprofit designation and we work closely with them on projects like the Senior Symposium."
Looking ahead, Ruth sees membership, activities, and support continuing to grow. "We're learning from our members what they want from the Village. We are committed to saying "yes". No request is too small, too big, or too difficult. We will find an answer. Some members are looking for companions to pursue all kinds of interests such as photography, walking around the reservoir, or going to the movies together. Our office can help them connect with each other and create those interest groups."
Member Bea Heggie
Charter member Bea Heggie was enthusiastic about the Village from the time she first heard about it. "The idea appealed to me", she says. "I liked the promise of living independently with services provided by the Village volunteers and vendors."
In 2012 Bea began hearing about Lamorinda Village from friends who were involved in establishing it. She feels the Village is living up to its promise. "I think the Village is doing a good job of screening the groups providing services; they are doing all the work for me. I also like the access to activities like the Saint Mary's docent tour last week. I'm looking forward to having access to art, music, opera and plays together with other Village members."
Volunteer Roni Brodwin
If you contact the Lamorinda Village office on a Monday afternoon, chances are you’ll find volunteer Roni Brodwin taking care of members, volunteers, and service providers. Her commitment comes from her belief that the Village is a great way for members to maintain independence by using Village services and foster connections through programs and events. “These are really important issues that a lot of us who are getting older will have to think about,” she said.