The Providence Village Newsletter: February 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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Fundraising Committee Meets Year End Goal 

Story by Anne Connor
The Providence Village reached its financial goal for the Fall Into Generosity Annual Campaign thanks to the many donors who contributed gifts supporting our operations.
What you may want to know about the results of our 2018 fundraising efforts:
  • There were 65% more donors than last year. Of the 75 donors, 23 were new donors!  
  • 100% BOD participation! 
  • The Annual Campaign total was 65% higher than in 2017!
 Look for special ways you can participate in our financial well-being in 2019:
  • July 16, 2019 for Charity Night at Flatbread Pizza
  • Birthday candle challenge
In recognition of the significant impact the Providence Village has made in our lives, Deborah Dunning and I are deeply grateful to each and every donor.
With appreciation,
Anne Connor & Deborah Dunning
Fundraising Campaign Co-Chairs
Advisory Council Brings Vision, Insights

Story by Phil West

“People don’t appreciate how intrepid elders are,” said Pat Gifford, a retired geriatrician and a founder of the Providence Village. She described the determination of a blind senior who lives alone to develop a support group for others. “We see stories about intrepid children, but we’ve been missing the intrepid elders.”

On a frigid January night, Dr. Gifford and her colleagues on the Providence Village Advisory Council responded to questions posed by Alex Howard, a fundraising consultant. The Advisory Council includes community leaders who bring valuable expertise but may be too busy to serve on the Board of Directors.
Alex Howard, Cause & Effect
“We need to sell the caring component as much as the services we provide,” said Beverly Ledbetter, who retired last summer after decades as senior counsel for Brown University. She mentioned knowing three or four elders who could benefit from the kind of personal caring that has become a hallmark of the Providence Village. Ironically, she added, some elders may think they don’t need help, but their children recognize subtle changes and increasing needs.  Below: Anne Connor, Beverly Ledbetter & Cy O'Neil
Several Advisory Council members noted the role of adult children who want to support elderly parents without intruding. Bill Twaddell, whose foreign service career included appointments as American ambassador to several other nations, now serves as an ambassador for the Providence Village. He mentioned meeting children in their forties who see clear value in their parents’ participation. “Various activities — shared meals, social events, the range of things — draw people in,” he said. “They lessen isolation.”
Barbara Sokoloff, a community developer, emphasized the goal of reducing social isolation among elders. The central challenge, she suggested, is to connect with people who may not be involved in faith communities or community organizations. “Fine to start new villages,” she added, “but I would maintain focus on those in the current catchment area who remain isolated.”

All agreed that volunteers of various ages remain vitally important both in outreach and providing support services. Herbert Rakatansky, a professor emeritus at Brown Medical School, mentioned the value of volunteers at the Rhode Island Free Clinic, where he serves on the board. “Depending on the mission,” he said, “the ratio of volunteers to paid staff in an organization can vary considerably. At the Free Clinic, we have eight employees and 700 volunteers.”

After the Q&A with Alex Howard, the Advisory Council turned its attention to a presentation by founder Cy O’Neil on strategic planning and outreach in neighboring communities. “The Providence Village has created an infrastructure,” he said. “Others won’t have to do that. It took us three years to get things up and running. They won’t have to reinvent call centers.”

He described “substantive conversations” with leaders in several other communities where villages are needed. “We can’t do it for them, but we can help ignite interest.”

The strategic plan, he explained, anticipates 75 percent of costs being covered by member dues, even while sponsored memberships are available on the basis of need.

“That’s part of why we need help with fundraising,” said Deborah Dunning, who chaired the meeting and co-chaired the successful end-of-year financial appeal. “We rely on strong support from our donors and board.”

“Foundations and corporations recognize the value of what we’re doing,” added Fundraising Chair Anne Connor. “Our grant proposals need to make our vision clear to them.”
(clockwise): Alex Howard (Cause & Effect), with Advisory Council members Pat Gifford, Dan Siegel, Anne Connor, Beverly Ledbetter, Cy O’Neil,Deborah Dunning (chair, head of table)
Brown Bag Lunch
PV Members Attend Talk on the Current Refugee Situation   

Story & Photos by Jane Adler
Title photo: Joanna Detz/ecoRI News photos

On Tuesday, January 22, just one interesting activity our Providence Village members did this month, was to attend the Lifelong Learning Collaborative (LLC) Brown Bag Lunch.
Omar Bah, Founder and Executive Director of the Refugee Dream Center was the speaker. The topic was “The Current Refugee Situation.” Among other things, Omah described his escape from The Gambia in West Africa. Soldiers stopped the bus he was hiding in by banging on the side of the bus with their rifle butts so they could get on to look for him. The audience was mesmerized.
CLICK HERE  to learn more about Omar Bah's work in Rhode Island.
Our activities committee plans it so our Providence Village members can sit together at a front table, if they wish, eat their lunch and socialize a bit before the presentation. 
This popular Brown Bag Lunch series, which often attracts up to 150 or more members of the community, offers about twelve presentations a year and our members seem to really enjoy these talks.

Please join us at the next one, Tuesday, February 26, 12 to 1pm at Temple Beth El, 70 Orchard Avenue, Providence. Dr. Michael Fine, former Director of the Rhode Island Department of Health, will talk about his new book, Health Care Revolt: How to Organize, Build a Health Care System, and Resuscitate Democracy - All at the Same Time. All presentations are free, please register if you would like to join us at the table. 
Founded in 1984 as Brown Community for Learning in Retirement (BCLIR), Lifelong Learning Collaborative (LLC) is a nonprofit, membership organization based in Providence. The model is collaborative learning.  LLC offers  its members  peer-led courses and  a variety of social and cultural activitiessuch as Brown Bag lunches, lectures and trips to  theaters, museums and historic sites.  For more information
Member Group Activities
A Trip to the Fuller Craft Museum
Providence Village members took advantage of our chartered shuttle bus and enjoyed a day out to the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton Massachusetts. 
Great opportunities to meet new friends and members when you join us for Group Activities.
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.

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.


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!
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

Providence Village/
Village Common
Executive Director

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis beginning Feb. 22

for full details

Valentine's Day
February 14 


Hamilton House
Join us!
A Valentine's Day Celebration - Romantic Music 

Say hello to friends and have a good time. Wine, cheese,  chocolate, soft drinks.


Invite a Friend
Friends interested in learning more about the Village are welcome to attend.

Register with Jane Adler
by Mon, February 11, 12 pm.

please leave your name and phone number. 


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!
  • Photography Exhibit - Barrington
    Fri Feb 1,  5 - 7pm

    Art Lovers - Join PV board member, Jane Adler, for a photography show opening titled: "A Nice Picture Show -Lotsa Color, Lotsa Composition, and Lotsa Dreamy Titles." St. Johns Episcopal Church, 191 County Road, Barrington. Refreshments. Free.
  • Lunch at the Art Club
    Fri Feb 8, 12:00pm
    Lunch at the Providence Art Club on Thomas Street. Very reasonable prices. We welcome new people. Very friendly group. Register by Feb 6. Dutch Treat.

  • Valentine's Day
    Meet & Greet

    Thurs Feb 14, 4 -5:30pm

    Come to the Party! A Happy Valentine's Day Celebration, Wine and Cheese, Meet and Greet. Free. 
  • Dinner Club
    Sun Feb 17  5pm

    Our fabulous Dinner Club. This month we are meeting at Davenport's, Wampanoag Plaza, East Providence. Davenport's is a family restaurant offering American food, soups, pizza, clam chowder and is vegetarian friendly. (Please go online for pictures of the restaurant, menu and prices. Registration closes Friday, January 25, 12pm. 
  • Lotus Flower Lantern Workshop
    Korean Spirit & Culture Promotion Project
    Tues Feb 19  1 pm
    Central Congregational Church

    Make a lovely lotus flower lantern, enjoy a short documentary film on the Korean artistic tradition. Korean refreshments. Register before February 5. A $5 materials charge will be due at time of registration. Space is limited. 
  • Brown Bag Lunch
    Fri Feb 8, 12:00pm

    Lifelong Learning: Brown Bag Lunch lecture: Join Dr. Michael Fine, former director of RI Dept. of Health and author of Health Care Revolt: How to Organize, Build a Health Care System and Resuscitate Democracy - All at the Same Time. Bring your lunch and we will sit together at a PV table. Please register so I can save your seat. Free.
  • Save The Date
    Ask the Experts: How to Prepare for Selling Your House Without Stress
    Tues March 5, 4 - 5:30pm

    You are cordially invited to join us for an informative, interesting and friendly discussion: "Ask the Experts: How to Prepare for Selling Your House Without Stress." Experts from both the firms of Lila Delman and Residential Properties will  be here to answer all your questions. Hamilton House. Refreshments. Free. 
All events are subject to rescheduling. Must register for all events. Including Wine & Cheese Gatherings. 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
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. 
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.

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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