Neighbors help Neighbors Access Northeast Village Services
Cully community members, non-profits, and friends came together last Friday, December 15th to raise funds for low income residents to access the services offered by the Northeast Village, a program that helps older adults and those living with disabilities thrive in their homes.
Living Cully is committed to preventing the displacement of low-income residents and people of color from the Cully neighborhood. Northeast Village supports those living with disabilities and older adults who would like to age in place by connecting them with neighborhood volunteers to help with yard maintenance, housekeeping, pet care, grocery store runs, and more.
“They’ve helped me out so much,” said Victor Johanson, a member at the Northeast Villages for the past several months. He added that the volunteers who come help with household chores give him new inspiration for what he can do with his home.
An annual membership for an individual member cost $499, and while that is much cheaper than other elder care options, the cost is still a burden for those living on limited incomes.
With the support of a mini-grant from the Cully Association of Neighbors, Living Cully staff, community volunteer Don Tarbutton, and Living Cully’s PSU student intern Chelsea Gokcay put together a fundraiser and educational event for Northeast Village to help raise funds for subsidized memberships and raise awareness about the program.
Between “pay-what-you-can” dinner tickets and donations at the event, the community raised nearly $2000 in funds that can help subsidize the annual memberships for low-income Cully residents, surpassing their fundraising goal of $1200.
At the beginning of the evening, host Don Tarbutton encouraged the guests to share with those at their table the reasons that brought them to the dinner. Many came to offer volunteer support. Northeast Village is current seeking more volunteers, especially those who can offer transportation services, said Jane Draunger, a volunteer at Northeast Village since its founding.
Transportation services have long been the largest identified need for elder care in the area, according to Don, who helped survey the neighborhood a couple years ago in order to identify community needs. If you or somebody you know would be interested in volunteering with NE Villages in any capacity, click here.
This event could not have been possible without the support of many community members. Thanks to our speakers, Don Tarbutton, Jane Draunger, Margaret Baldwin, Victor Johanson, and Bob Granger. Thanks to Cully Association of Neighbors, Ecovillage, Northeast Villages, and Living Cully who supported the event. Thanks to our volunteers for serving food, setting up the event, and greeting folks as the came in the door. And thanks to Miss Zumstein’s Bakery, Red Sauce Pizza, Grand Central Bakery, Loncheria Los Mayas, and Cully Neighborhood Farms for the food. Truly, this was a neighbors helping neighbors kind of event.
“Neighbors helping neighbors,” Victor read off the Northeast Village brochure. “Now, that’s something unique to hear.”