Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT IS 707 VILLAGES, INC.?
We are a California nonprofit corporation that provide opportunities that support each of our members (55 years+) in leading vibrant, active, and connected lives — on their own terms. We are part of the international village movement addressing the needs of our ever-increasing aging population.
Designed by the needs, desires and resources of the participants, we provide:
• organized ways for seniors to age in place, in their home and community
• a vibrant volunteer supported organization, volunteers help with
transportation, visiting, and lending a helping hand
• programs for learning and interacting in joyful and productive ways
• opportunities for people to learn, socialize, and gain wellness information
• fraud prevention through our Trusted Vendor Program where members can
find local trades people and service providers
• access to a comprehensive range of services with a single call
• peace of mind for members and their families
• a hub-and-spoke business model: a cost effective and centralized
WHAT ARE MEMBER BENEFITS?
• keeping our independence through community while living on our own
• enjoying peace of mind knowing that there are people available to be of
• having easy access to volunteer services, resource referrals and trusted
trade and service providers
• meeting new people and having more fun
• maintaining a cost effective lifestyle
• being part of a trusted community
• learning and socializing opportunities that are limited only by the
imagination and the resources of the community
• making a difference in the lives of others
• being part of a quiet revolution of changing the experience of aging
WHERE IS THE VILLAGE?
Rather than a place, 707 Villages, Inc. is a coordinated effort to create geographic or virtual communities of support for people over 55 years old.
In an actual village people get to know each other, enjoy each other’s company, and watch out for each other. 707 Villages earns the right to use the term “village” because that is exactly what we strive to be.
Rather than walk across the street - like we all used to do - we use the phone, email, and the internet to initiate communication.
WHY DO WE NEED A VILLAGE NOW?
The census shows that we are an aging society and our money is buying less and less. We need to find ways to take care of each other and age in place. In Sonoma County:
• 1 in 5 people are over 65 years of age, and this number is growing
• 37% of women 65 and over live alone
• Sonoma County has the 3rd highest percentage of people 85 and
older in the nation
WHO ARE YOUR VOLUNTEERS?
Volunteers - of every age and background - give texture and vibrance to our village community.
• All of our volunteers are background checked, supervised and
insured. This provides peace of mind and enhances the quality of life for our members.
• People of all ages and capacities are needed as volunteers. There
are individual and intergenerational opportunities. Members are
some of our best and most dedicated volunteers. The concept of
‘paying it forward’ is alive and well in the minds of village members.
• Among the services most often requested by members is for drivers and for a helping hand around the house.
As a volunteer you get to select how you want to make a difference. Once trained and background checked, our volunteers will experience a flexible assignment system that can work in any schedule.
WHY MEMBERSHIP DUES?
As a community, we give and we get. Even an organization which is largely volunteer-based requires operating capital. For example, 707 Villages, Inc. needs to pay for insurance, training, office space, software and office supplies to support the local Villages. Eventually, we hope to add administrative staff. While our nonprofit structure gives 707 Villages, Inc. the opportunity to apply for grants, the organization’s goal is to become fiscally independent and sustainable over time. This will give our members the most flexibility in terms of independent programming.
ARE VILLAGES A TYPE OF FRANCHISE?
No. There are almost 400 independent villages in operation or development. There are perameters that define the movement but each has their own personality and uniqueness. They say, “If you have seen one village, you have seen one village.”
Fundamentally, villages are:
• membership driven
• finding low cost solutions for transportation, home repair and other
• fun, wellness and educational programming
• communities of people helping people
• a single point of contact for information and referrals
Each village grows in whatever way it needs to, and is as unique as the community and the people it serves. 707 Villages,Inc. will become what the community makes it.
Older people are enormous assets to our communities. They have time, talent, wisdom, and experience to be tapped.
Communities reap the economic advantages of having seniors age in place.