Seven years along and going strong
Phil Richards was recognized at Stay at Home in Wilton’s seventh anniversary party on May 5 as a man with a vision by the organization’s president, Dr. Peter Dodds. Richards is one of the founding members who started a “village” in Wilton, part of a network called the “Village Movement,” which began in Beacon Hill, a small section of Boston, more than 15 years ago. Today, there are more than 350 villages similar to Stay at Home in Wilton actively operating or in development across the country.
Stay at Home in Wilton offers something for everyone. Whether you’re newly retired, or have a desire to connect with others with similar interests, Stay at Home offers opportunities to connect and give back to the town. It’s a community within a community, a caring organization run by a dedicated group of neighbors who want to help neighbors. With more than 50 vetted volunteers providing services for nearly 100 members, members and their families take comfort knowing help is only a phone call away. Volunteers provide rides and friendly visits, run errands, solve computer problems, move furniture, change lightbulbs, and do whatever is needed. Members enjoy the sense of community and engage in many cultural, educational and social activities that are offered throughout the year.
Recently, Stay at Home entered into a relationship with a Wilton High School club. Student volunteers conduct regular classes in how to use or become more proficient in electronic technology. Junior Shelby Connor and senior Nora Noël Nolan founded the club last year with the goal of enriching the lives of local senior citizens. The high schoolers help members solve computer and cell phone problems and also serve at Stay at Home events.
Stay at Home in Wilton can fill the void when friends move away. Nita Nordgaard was part of a neighborhood walking group called the Silvermine Seven, which has since dispersed. Now she’s part of the Stay at Home in Wilton Walking Club, which meets at least once a month.
Dave Forslund, a volunteer driver, said, “There’s a whole different world out there I wasn’t aware of. I’ve learned a lot from members and other volunteers, and the focus has become much more than just the ride.”
Member and volunteer driver Dick King said, “Driving members is an enriching experience, during which a lot of communication takes place; finding out about members’ life experiences is gratifying.”
Verna Barrett was looking toward the future when she joined the organization. She is an active member and volunteer who said she joined because she wanted to make sure Stay at Home in Wilton is in place when she needs it. Barrett is a strong advocate of people staying in their homes and community as long as possible.
Stay at Home in Wilton is committed to taking care of its own. For information about volunteering or membership, visit stayathomeinwilton.org or call 203-762-2600.