By Andrea Clemett, Picket Fence Media intern
San Clemente Village (SCV) is celebrating its two-year anniversary of connecting volunteers and members, ages 55 and older. Members hope that through a celebration on Tuesday, Oct. 2, held at the Community Center, more people will get involved with the program.
The nonprofit organization provides resources to its 55-and-older members who want to continue to live in their homes with the assistance of volunteers.
Ret Wixted of SCV said that common needs for members are dog walkers, transportation services and interactive activity volunteers. She said such chores as front-door mail delivery or note-taking during medical appointments help members live independently without moving into a senior care facility.
The agency identified that with time, some clients may become less social, and SCV developed ways to reignite these connections. Clients and volunteers are paired together and form friendships through the activities offered. With more than 70 volunteers who service 60 members, the Village strives to find innovative and responsible ways to support its members.
“We find that the people in San Clemente want to give back to their town,” said Jan Montague, president of SCV. “Many volunteers have worked or commuted for their whole careers outside of San Clemente. When they retire, they want to be affiliated with people in their community.”
Beyond social connections, the SCV has three wellness incentives to prepare for natural disasters, reduce falls and maintain mental health.
According to Wixted, Bob Baker had seen an episode of 60 Minutes that had spotlighted a similar program, called the Village. Baker took the idea to the city’s Human Affairs Committee, and it was supported. Nancy Sutherland, a Human Affairs Committee member, took the lead and began to gather other interested residents.
The outreach program relies on word-of-mouth referrals to recruit volunteers aged 24 to 80. Each participant requires a background check by Verified Volunteers and DMV clearances.
At the Oct. 2 anniversary celebration, beginning at 5:30 p.m. at 100 N. Calle Seville, there will be performances from the Heritage Quartet, followed by a brief presentation. Wine and appetizers will be served and new guests are encouraged to RSVP by calling 949.441.1348.
Article updated to reflect the correct genesis of the San Clemente Village.