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VALERIE JONES - Beyond the Village

By Blog Master
Posted: 05/31/2022
Tags: bios



Valerie Jones first learned about the Pasadena Village several years ago when she went to the annual Assistance League craft fair and stopped by the Pasadena Village table. At that time she signed up to be put on our mailing list. Later, she attended a Christmas party for volunteers of Planned Parenthood of San Gabriel Valley and talked with a few Village members who were there. Fast forward a few years to find Valerie working with Village member Toni Cavanaugh on a League of Women Voters Policing Practices subcommittee. Valerie had read about Toni in one of the Village newsletters and knew she had recently joined the Village. Toni invited Valerie to join the Urban Walkers on a Friday walk where she met some of the other members.  


In this way Valerie added Pasadena Village to her long list of volunteer activities. Why did such a busy person join in to yet another activity? Valerie explains: “I like being active. One thing I like about the Village is that if I want some company to go somewhere, I can find someone who would want to join me.  Or if I need a plumber, I can ask other members for suggestions. It's a great resource to me.”


Valerie has had a long and rewarding career as an occupational therapist, retiring in 2015. A former resident of Queens, New York, Valerie moved to California in 1978 and settled into her home in Altadena in the 1980’s. She joined a small church in Altadena where she is an usher, lector, and counter and the chairperson for the Worship Arts and Music. “It’s my church. It’s just like the Pasadena Village. You need to pitch in and keep it going.” She is also a member of WELCA (Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of California).  


While she was still working, Valerie began to attend the League of Women Voters events, attracted by both their speakers and the subjects of their talks. Upon retiring in 2015, she became more active in the League, prompted in part by the events surrounding the 2016 election.  “I saw what was happening and I knew we had to be pro-active to get people to vote. We need educated voters, and the League provides non-partisan education on important issues.” Today Valerie represents the Social Justice Committee on the Board of Directors. 


Valerie has also served as a volunteer for Planned Parenthood of San Gabriel Valley. During her time there, Valerie has seen many women from many backgrounds come for different kinds of care. Valerie volunteers as an advocate. “When a woman comes in to have an abortion, I sit next to her, holding her hand, coaching her in her breathing, saying words of encouragement, and trying to distract her from any discomfort she might be experiencing.”


In addition to these activities, Valerie has ushered for the Pasadena Playhouse for the past four years. She is happy to be back at her duties as the Playhouse resumes live performances after the pandemic closure. “It’s a great volunteer opportunity. I get to see the plays and make new friends as well.”


Valerie also finds time to make use of community services such as the Pasadena Senior Center, where she is currently taking two classes. She enjoys the Body Mechanics class, which offers exercises and strategies to strengthen your core muscles. She takes a 10-week “I-device” class, which shows you how to make the most of your I-phone. Of the latter, she says “This is my second time taking the class. The instructor is so friendly and patient with all of us. I learn a bit more each time.”


Valerie is an example of a person who understands and values the importance of community. Through her volunteer work, she gives back to her community, while also making good friends and connecting with various helpful resources.  


The Village has become an important part of Valerie's life. “Pasadena Village is exactly the place for active seniors. We look after and assist each other when needed. The Village offers a multitude of opportunities in education, travel, socialization, healthy exercise, entertainment, and various support groups, all designed for people in my age group. I am glad I joined.” 


The Village is glad Valerie joined, too. We are fortunate to have her as a member.


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