The Providence Village Newsletter: January 2019
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What is The Providence Village? A grassroots, community-based, non-profit network of mutual support for those of us who want to stay in our homes and neighborhoods as we grow older.
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Happy New Year from the Providence Village
and we begin with a warm welcome to Eliza Sutton.
Our New Village Coordinator:
Eliza Sutton

Story by Wendy Oliver O'Neil 
Photos by Phil West

The Providence Village recently completed a search process for our new Village Coordinator to replace Kathleen Harrington. Eliza Sutton came to Rhode Island to work at the Southside Community Land Trust, where she worked for many years as the Director of Community Growers. Her job there included acquiring land for gardening, recruiting neighborhood gardeners, and developing the gardens. She also currently runs a small business, Sanctuary Herbs of Providence, which is in its third year. She and her partner, Christina Dadora, work with about 15 farmers who grow herbs for the business. She will continue working on her business part-time while also working for the Village.

Eliza grew up in upstate New York outside Syracuse, and attended college at both Skidmore and Antioch. She received her Masters of Public Health from Hunter College in New York City during the 1990s, which was during the AIDS crisis. Her professors were involved in AIDS activism, and after graduation, she worked in the area of AIDS education and healthcare. A little later, she became interested in food access in urban areas, along with urban farming, and that is what led to her job in Providence with SCLT.

Eliza lives with her husband and 10-year-old daughter on the East Side of Providence, along with their dog and cat. Eliza also has two stepdaughters, who are 21 and 23. Her husband is a carpenter, and her youngest daughter attends Vartan Gregorian Elementary School in Fox Point. Her favorite activities include hiking, cooking, reading, and puzzles. She especially likes hiking in the mountains of New Hampshire, but has also found some beautiful hikes in Rhode Island.

Jim Maxwell, president, and board member, Lenore Bunting, welcome Eliza Sutton to the organization. 
On December 18, Eliza came into the Village office in Hamilton House for an orientation with President Jim Maxwell, who began to teach her how to navigate our software platform, Club Express. Some of her duties will be tech-focused, but others will be more people-oriented. Her first actual work day will be in early January, and she will be in the Village office three days per week. Eliza is looking forward to learning more about the Providence Village, it services, its activities, and how it makes a difference in the lives of its members and volunteers. “I recently read the book Being Mortal, and that gave me a lot to think about…My mother is 80, and I am thinking about what is next for her.” She is looking forward to meeting everyone in the Village, and we are looking forward to having her expertise in our Village office!
The Village Common

Story & Photos by Phil West
The Village Common is a new endeavor that will expand the village concept within Rhode Island. It has been under discussion at the board level for the past year and will facilitate the creation of additional villages.
At their final meeting of 2018, board members reviewed a position description for an executive director of The Village Common. “We seek a leader,” one section declares, “with excellent organizational and communication skills, entrepreneurial drive, a strategic mind set, a high degree of emotional awareness, and the capacity to work collaboratively with members, volunteers, board, and staff.”

A major part of the new executive’s work will be to identify potential partner communities, encourage their participation in forming The Village Common, identify local volunteer leadership, and actually launch new villages. The document emphasizes ensuring “that services are delivered in a timely and satisfactory manner.”
“We hope to have this person on board by early April,” said Suzanne Francis, who is president-elect of the Providence Village and a member of the planning committee, “but the need for a working board isn’t going away. At some point,” she said, "As we become the Village Common, the focus for the executive director will be on outreach and communications."
Board members reviewed a draft budget that envisions a half-year executive salary in 2019. In answer to a question, Ms. Francis emphasized flexibility: “That could mean a full year at half-time, a half-year at full-time, or something in between.” 

Tufts Health Plan Foundation has provided a grant of $10,000 to support outreach activities in communities interested in creating Villages (
Dec. Newsletter), and a proposal is being considered for funds now available through Rhode Island’s Executive Office of Health and Human Services. Increasingly foundations and government programs recognize the value of helping people stay in their own homes as a means of reducing costs and enhancing health among elders. Private charitable contributions remain crucial in this effort. Fundraising chair Anne Connor thanked board members for their 100 percent support of the year-end fund drive.
Volunteer Spotlight:
Kate Sanders

By Vivian Malloy
Kate Sanders has been an advocate for the Village and its goal of creating a community of mutual support, since the early planning days.  She particularly likes, she says, “ the fact that the Village concept is strongly geographical.”

Currently Kate volunteers on the Teletree committee, acting as Organizer of the Hope Street area, plus compiling the final report of all three Teletree Commitees.  Kate also works with the committee that is revising the Village website.

Born in Tennessee, she grew up in the NYC suburbs, came to Brown University in 1973, where she double majored in English, and Greek and Latin literature. Switching fields, she later earned a Ph.D in computer science and began teaching at Rhode Island College, a position from which she has recently retired. Kate lives in Providence with her husband Robert McCartney, a professor of computer science at University of Connecticut in Storrs, and their two cats. 

 Kate’s interests include opera, reading (history, mysteries and classic fiction), travel, learning to knit, local theater, RIPTA, taking long walks, and– not unexpectedly–organizing and analyzing data. She invites contributions, she has said, to the list of things, such as dentistry and peel-off stamps, that are better than they were in the “good old days.”
Villagers Take Museum Trips
Story and photos by Jane Adler
We PV members are so lucky: it took awhile to plan it, but we are now able to go on day trips by bus, and many of us are taking advantage of this, and loving it!

Last month, we went on our first trip, and it was more than successful. It was terrific. On November 28, we went to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. What an opportunity to see some of the world’s greatest works of art. On the way home, everyone expressed interest (an understatement) in going on another bus trip.

Our second trip, December 12, was to the Worcester Art Museum, and that was great. Some of the more outstanding exhibits included “Preserved Pages: Book as Art in Persia and India,” and Stained glass by Tiffany and LaFarge. There is a nice café in this museum, and some of us were smart enough to have ordered their pear and mushroom soup. 
This month, January 23, we are going to the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, Mass. Many of us have never been there, so this will be a treat. We’ll bring our own ‘’picnic lunch,” and eat there so we can all discuss our favorite pieces. Surprise desserts will be offered to all. 
Keep tuned to the schedule: we are going to try to go somewhere every month. 

And don’t forget our Sunday dinners. These have been delightful. This month we went to the China Inn. We pick a restaurant that has good food, plus, we ask for a room that is private or in another section of the restaurant so we all can hear each other. We tend to include all people in the conversation, so everyone has a chance to express themselves, and that they do. This month we’ll go to the Red Stripe restaurant, close to home. Consider joining us for these activities. You’ll feel comfortable right away!  
Enjoying dinner at the China Inn
The Providence Longevity Explorers in 2019

By Diane Strommer

This group, begun in March 2018 as a collaboration between the Providence Village and Hamilton House, is part of an initiative and on-line presence called "Tech Enhanced Life.”  Designed as an exploration and discussion group for aging adults (and anyone else interested) who want to identify and address their own experiences and needs in products, services, and information related to aging, the Providence group is one of a number of Longevity Explorer Circles. 

In recent months we have discussed helpful gadgets, various housing options, how to know when it’s time to stop (or change) one’s driving, scams and technological safety, useful apps, and issues like social isolation and loneliness.  The recordings and summaries of each of our meetings--and of all the Longevity Explorer circles--are published on line.  You can get more information about our group at

The winter/spring program schedule follows. More detailed information about each program will be published closer to the event.

2019 Dates, Topics, and Meeting Guests & Facilitators

February 21 “Self Care,” Elissa Arfa

March 21  “Health Care Directives and End of Life Planning,” Pat Mattingly

April 18  “Update on Alzheimer’s Research,” guests, Charles Denby & Theresa Fogarty, Alzheimer’s Disease & Memory Disorders Center at RI Hospital, Diane Strommer

May 16  “Research Study: Monitoring Health with the Apple Watch,” guests, Dr. Elizabeth Goldberg and Dr. Jennifer Mammen, Miriam McRobb and Jerianne Berman

June 20  “Essential Apps and How to Use Them,” a workshop for all levels, including non-tech users, Ronda Umphrey.

After a summer break in July and August, meetings resume on September 20 with our fall schedule.  Sylvia Danforth serves as the Coordinator of the program and can be reached through Hamilton House.

Ways to Volunteer!
The Providence Village needs you!
There are many opportunities to volunteer. Training is provided for each job, and the schedule is under your control. Here are the job descriptions:
Home Help: Household Chores and Handy Help

Village Friends: Provide regular check-in calls, longer friendly phone calls, or in-person visits to members.

Member Group Activities: Help plan and assist small group social, cultural and educational activities.

Social Events Committee: Help plan and execute large social events, open to members and non-members alike.

Technical Support:  Assist members with computers, phones, TV remotes, i-pads, and other devices.

Driver:  Take members to and from doctors’ appointments, shopping, and errands. The schedule is flexible.

Service Coordinator: Take phone calls from members to coordinate services for them. This can be done from your home. 

To volunteer, please call us at 401-441-5240.
Join us
for Member Group Activities, a wonderful way to have a great time and meet new, friendly people.

Invite a Friend
Friends interested in learning more about the Village are welcome to join Member Activities; please contact Jane Adler in advance.
We are inspired by neighbors helping neighbors

We are committed to an inclusive, community-based network of mutual support

We call our endeavor
The Providence Village



Members and Volunteers - Call now for help with snow removal.
Village volunteers are available to help you find a resource that fits your needs. Call the office at 401-441-5240  or email 
 and a volunteer will respond shortly. 

PS: if you live in Pawtucket there is a free volunteer snow removal program available - contact Beth Roberge 401 728 0500 ext. 241 or email:

Or if you live in the area served by the Summit Neighborhood Association, roughly bounded by Rochambeau north to Hillside, North Main east to Elmgrove, you may write to the Summit Neighborhood Association’s Snow Brigade for help from volunteers. 

Member Group
Join us!
  • Lunch at the Art Club
    Weds Jan 9, 12:00pm
    Lunch at the Providence Art Club on Thomas Street. Very reasonable prices. We welcome new people. Very friendly group. Dutch treat.

  • Breakfast Club
    Mon Jan 14, 10am

    Join us for Breakfast Club at the Butcher Shop, 157 Elmgrove Ave.  Coffee or full breakfast. Dutch treat.
  • Lifelong Learning: Brown Bag Lunch Lecture
    Tues Jan 22, 12pm
    Omar Bah -The Current Refugee Situation

    You’ll want to hear this: Omar Bah says, just in the past 7 years, alone, there have been 25 million more refugees displaced across the world, bringing the current total to about 66 million displaced refugees. The United States used to resettle an average of 100 thousand of these refugees a year until recently. Omar will explore this current refugee situation both at global levels and within the US.Bring your lunch and we will sit together at a PV table. Please register so I can save your seat. Free.
  • Book Club
    Tues Jan 22, 3:30pm

    We are reading A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles. (Please feel free to attend even if you haven’t finished the book.) Free with simple snacks to share. Register to save a place:
  • Fuller Craft Museum
    Wed Jan 23 9:30pm

    Arts and crafts lovers, we are excited to offer a Free Bus Trip (just for us) to Fuller Craft Museum, Brocton, Mass. We leave at 9:30am, return about 2:30pm to Providence. Your cost is only admission fee of $8. Pack a picnic lunch and a drink for yourself, and we’ll eat there. Desserts will be provided. Details at registration: Seats are very LIMITED. Register right away at
    (Members have the opportunity to register first; unfilled seats will then be offered to volunteers, but please sign up now). 

  • Dinner Club
    Sun Jan 27  5pm
    Our fabulous Dinner Club. We are going to the Red Stripe on 465 Angell St.
    This restaurant is a traditional brasserie with an edge. Classic and unique, it is upscale but relaxed. (Please go online for pictures of the restaurant, menu and prices. Registration closes Friday, January 25, 12pm. Register soon as this fills up quickly. Dutch treat.
  • Save the Date
    Tues Feb 19  1pm
    Lotus Flower Lantern Workshop

    The Members of the Korean Spirit and Culture Promotion  Project, will be on hand to help you make a lovely lotus flower lantern using colorful paper and wire frames. A short documentary film on the Korean artistic tradition will be shown as an introduction, plus a short film on the meaning of the Lotus Flower. The lotus grows in a swamp or pond, but is not tainted by the mud and has clear and subtle fragrance. This natural characteristic has been used symbol of purity, nobility and sublimity. Free books on Korean and free traditional Korean refreshments will be offered, This is a lovely event that you will enjoy. The woman wear colorful costumes, and the films are really interesting. $5 materials charge.
All events are subject to rescheduling. Must register for all events. Check email invitations for details, reply to Jane Adler and please leave your phone number:

* For weekend and evening activities, members may need to provide their own transportation or carpooling.

IMPORTANT: To assure that I received your email registration for any activity, make sure you receive a "thank you" email from me.
Social Events
Seeks New Members!
This committee plans the annual Colt State Park picnic and other events. Would you like to help? You need not be a member of the Providence Village to join the committee.
If you are interested, please contact:
Ada Winsten - 274-4717
or email
Providence Village
Board of Directors 
Jim Maxwell, President
Suzanne Francis, President Elect
Pat Mattingly, Past President
Anne Connor, Secretary
Gary Leib, Treasurer
Jane Adler
Tony Allen
Lenore Bunting

Deborah Dunning
Joe Fisler
Bonnie Ryvicker
Terry Percelay
Peter Viner-Brown

Phil West
Laura Young

Providence Village
Advisory Council
Deborah Dunning
Barry Fain
Jay Glasson
Beverly Ledbetter
Lynette Lopes
Marcus Mitchell
Herbert Rakatansky
Dan Siegel
Barbara Sokoloff
Bill Twaddell
Phil West
Learn more about our new offerings
Call our service coordinators

Merchant Discounts

Village Members

All Providence Village members are eligible for merchant discounts from restaurants and stores on the East Side of Providence. Please show your member card in order to receive the discount.  Participating merchants are listed below. If you take advantage of the discount, please let the merchant know that we appreciate their support!  Thank you.

Business Discounts
for Village Members & Volunteers
With Your Village ID Card
You Get 10% Discounts at the following locations

click on name for website details
268 Thayer St
Kabob & Curry
261 Thayer St
Meeting Street Café
220 Meeting St.

Pasta Beach Restaurant
195 Wayland Ave
727 East Ave


Venda Ravioli Grocery & Restaurant
265 Atwells Ave

D’Ambra Sunoco
438 Hope St
(Discount on auto servicing and tires)

East Side Shell
1100 Hope St
(Discount on auto servicing and tires)
(Can be added to a AAA discount for greater savings)


Palomino Gifts
247 Rochambeau Ave

Rhody Craft
769 Hope St

Evolve Apothecary & Spa
769A Hope St

Henry Bear's Park
736 Hope St

Stock Culinary
756 Hope St

Support our
Participating Businesses!
Amazon Smile Program
The Providence Village now belongs to the Amazon Smile program. This program donates a small percentage of sales to various charitable organizations. Shop at and a percentage will go back to the Providence Village. See link for further information. 

Age Friendly RI
Check out the website for Age Friendly RI. They have lots of very helpful information about us “older adults” in RI.
click here
The Providence Village

Our Mission
The mission of the Providence Village is to create a community of mutual support, so that we can live rich, full lives in our homes and neighborhoods.

Our Vision
The Providence Village will provide a single source of access to programs and services that support a healthy, safe and satisfying life for our members.

Our Core Values
Generosity, Diversity, Engagement, Collaboration, Sustainability

Newsletter Staff:   Editor:  Wendy Oliver    
Writers:  Jane Adler, Vivian Malloy, Wendy Oliver, Diane Strommer, Phil West   
Photography:  Phil West, Jane Adler
Obituary Assistance:  Anne Connor, Amy Webb, Phil West
Design:  Amy Webb - Mockingbird Design

visit our website:

email:          phone: 401-441-5240

We welcome your tax-deductible donations
Please make your checks payable to The Providence Village.
The Providence Village is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Our mailing address is: 276 Angell St. Providence RI 02906 
For more information on the Village Movement, visit the Village to Village Network:

Copyright © 2016  The Providence Village   All rights reserved.
The Providence Village Newsletter


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Providence Village RI · 276 Angell Street · Providence, RI 02906 · USA

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