Home for a Lifetime
P.O. Box 10063 Huntsville, AL 35801 256-384-4177
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What exactly is a Village?
Villages are membership-driven, grass-roots organizations which utilize the help of both volunteers and, in some cases, paid staff. Villages provide access to affordable services including transportation, health and wellness programs, home repairs, social and educational activities, and other day-to-day needs enabling individuals to remain connected to their community throughout the aging process. Currently, approximately 196 villages are operating across the country, with over 107 additional villages in development. To learn more about the Village movement visit http://www.vtvnetwork.org.
How does Monte Sano Village (MSV) work?
Monte Sano Village strives to enable Monte Sano residents to stay in their neighborhood as they age, by organizing services and volunteers that allow residents to lead safe, healthy, productive lives in their own homes. Our village operates within the boundaries of Monte Sano Mountain from Governor’s Drive to Fearn. MSV identifies and trains volunteers to provide requested services or programs. Residents of the mountain as well as neighboring areas serve as volunteers, as our volunteers are not required to live on Monte Sano. Our village model attracts volunteers of all ages, thus providing a framework for strengthening intergenerational ties in our community. This framework enhances our community for today’s seniors and for those to follow. The costs associated with operating the village are financed by member fees and donations.
What does Monte Sano Village offer to its members?
Based on surveys of our members, a list of services has been developed which allows volunteers to specialize in areas in which they want to volunteer their services. Those services are published on the website for all to see. Our most popular services address transportation needs, fun social and educational programs, and access to options for dependable contractor and social services.
How do I become a member and how much will it cost?
It’s easy. Give us a call at 256-384-4177, or go online to our website at montesanovillage.org and let us know you’d like to join MSV. A volunteer staff member will come to your home and talk with you in a membership interview. Our fees are minimal. We have worked very hard to keep expenses low. However, every village has expenses such as software that assists with pairing volunteers to services needed, insurance for volunteers and members and directors, telephone costs, website fees, membership fees to the Village To Village Network organization, etc. Even so, because we are a strictly volunteer-based organization operating without paid staff, Monte Sano residents are in the enviable position of having the opportunity to join a top notch village at a very reasonable rate. Based on the high level of participation by residents and outstanding commitment by our volunteers, Monte Sano Village annual membership fees are:
$100 for a single member
$150 for a household.
Are all services free to members?
There is no charge to members for services performed by a volunteer. However, if a professional is needed to perform a service, MSV will often be able to offer options from a list of known businesses and organizations. This list does not imply a recommendation of any contractor but is a helpful way to share information regarding contractors who have worked with other Monte Sano residents. Members are encouraged to contact the neighbors who have used these contractors and to further interview/investigate the contractor for more specific questions. Members who use a service by a provider from the list of options are then responsible for engaging and paying that service provider.
What makes Monte Sano Village different from other programs already available in the community?
Monte Sano Village is our members’ village. Its development and services are specifically designed around our members’ needs, desires and talents. As a member driven non-profit 501(c)(3), MSV is exclusively staffed by volunteers. Our village members are the decision makers, the financiers, the beneficiaries, and often the volunteers. We help each other by designing and supporting an organization we can all be proud of. When necessary, we help connect members to various existing programs and services. Yet our more personal goal is to be able to count on volunteers from the community we know, love and trust to provide member support that is not available through existing local programs.
Why should I become a volunteer?
Monte Sano Village volunteers find satisfaction in being part of a neighbors-helping-neighbors initiative. They enjoy friendships that grow through their interactions with new acquaintances. In addition to providing support to neighbors, many of our volunteers also report that they like the village concept and can see that they may benefit from it in the future. Volunteers are also included in all of our village social events. Some members choose to serve as MSV volunteers, as well. Our community benefits from strengthening multi-generational ties.
How can I stay informed about the progress of Monte Sano Village?
We’re committed to keeping you up to date and informed through our website: montesanovillage.org. Each week we also email members and volunteers The Update with the latest news on upcoming programs and opportunities. For members who aren’t connected via computer, and those who need vision assistance, volunteers deliver a printed version of The Update to their homes. Many enjoy having village news read to them by their volunteer. If you have questions, call us at 256-384-4177, and a volunteer will return your call.