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Blog archive

July 2024

June 2024

May 2024

Emergency Preparedness: Are You Ready?

Farewell from the 2023/24 Social Work Interns

Gina on the Horizon

Mark Your Calendars for the Healthy Aging Research California Virtual Summit

Meet Our New Development Associate

Putting the Strategic Plan into Practice

Washington Park: Pasadena’s Rediscovered Gem

Introducing Civil Rights Discussions

Rumor of Humor #2416

Rumor of Humor #2417

Rumor of Humor #2417

Rumor of Humor #2418

Springtime Visitors

Freezing for a Good Cause – Credit, That Is

No Discussion Meeting on May 3rd

An Apparently Normal Person Author Presentation and Book-signing

Flintridge Center: Pasadena Village’s Neighbor That Changes Lives

Pasadena Celebrates Older Americans Month 2024

The 2024 Pasadena Village Volunteer Appreciation Lunch

Woman of the Year: Katy Townsend

April 2024

March 2024

February 2024

January 2024

Community Building Locally and Nationally

By Ed Mervine
Posted: 03/25/2024
Tags: dick myers, ed mervine, volunteering

Co-written by Dick Myers.


The Pasadena Village works because members, old and new alike, step up and partner with others. In Pasadena Village-speak, that’s called volunteering. It can also be called community building. The Village has talented full- and part-time staffers providing valuable administrative support, but the delivery of programs and services gets done by Village members. When we volunteer, we are the operations staff. We are the reason for the Village’s success. Caregiving, cultural events, educational workshops and a long list of gatherings, from decluttering and gardening to various discussion groups, happen because we volunteer.

There is no outside agency, government office or corporate structure providing funding, support, direction or oversight. We are led by our peers. When we volunteer, we are the management team. The Village Board Committees and the Village Program Teams function because we volunteer. 

Because we volunteer, the Village is able to work across boundaries and tap into resources through partnerships with several local, state, national organizations. Perhaps the most important is the Village to Village Network (VtVN) based in St. Louis. The VtVN provides member villages expert guidance, resources and support, and champions the village model at state and national levels as a best practice for healthy, vibrant aging.

Pasadena Village and VtVN actively collaborate and partner in several areas, including but not limited to research, technology, programing, and sharing best practices. The newest VtVN–Pasadena Village initiative is in research. Starting last October, Pasadena Village joined with the VtVN, the Rand Corporation and Rutgers University to develop a dialogue among villages and national researchers. Villagers Dick Myers, Marvin Dainoff, Ed Mervine and others from across the country volunteered to be included in that dialogue and to help build capacity for healthy aging research. When findings become available in 2026 or later, they will aid Pasadena Village in the design of programs and services, and will inform policy and funding decisions at all levels.

Technology is another example of successful collaboration with the VtVN. We acquired our administrative software through theVtVN. Dick Myers and Hanna Rough-Schock regularly participate in monthly Helpful Village software user group meetings. The Reporting Module we are currently implementing was developed by the Clayton Valley Village.

Wayne April, Dick Myers and Hannah Rough-Schock share Pasadena Villages approach to LGBTQ+ community with the VtVN Rainbow Network workgroup. As part of another collaboration, Claire Gorfinkel and Wayne April share the work of the Pasadena Village Care Team in the VtVN’s monthly Supporting Our Vulnerable Members Zoom call.

Several of our programs are products of our collaboration with the VtVN, two of which include Covid vaccine outreach and the purchase of the Ready or Not program, which was developed by another Village in the VtVN.

Over the years, Pasadena Village volunteers participated in forums sharing experience, expertise and best practices. One of these, the VtVN Village Mentor Forum, provides mentoring and resources for Villages in formation. In another forum, Villagers share successes, failures, best practices and solicit advice. Pasadena Village volunteers also present and facilitate discussions as part of the VtVN’s annual conference that addresses issues relevant to all villages, as well as what the villages provide society at large.

When we share our expertise, skills and accomplishments, and we help expand options for older adults to live independent, healthy, and purposeful lives, we also help build community and contribute to the health and strength of the nation.

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