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Four woman members and volunteers
About
FAQs

 

Please feel free to call us on (415) 457-4633 if you have additional questions. 


Q: What’s the difference between Marin Villages and a local village such as the Mill Valley Village or the Novato Village?
A: Marin Villages is the “umbrella” 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Marin Villages has a small administrative staff that supports our local villages. Members call the office when they need for a particular service or form of assistance and we match them with a volunteer.

Local villages are branches of Marin Villages. They are not separately incorporated. These geographically based villages run entirely by volunteers, help members stay engaged and active by focusing on presenting a variety of programs and activities tailored to their members’ interests. Our programs range from coffees and happy-hours to educational talks and cultural outings, to hiking and games, although during COVID villages are primarily offering events on Zoom. Our events and gatherings offer the opportunity to meet new friends and help prevent the isolation which often accompanies aging. Local village volunteers also assist members with what we call direct services, including errands, transportation, handyman services, tech support, pet care, companionship calls, and other services that help with members’ daily needs.


Q: How many local Villages are there? Is one near me?
A: There are currently six local villages affiliated with Marin Villages: Mill Valley Village; Novato Village; Ross Valley Village; San Rafael Village; Tiburon Peninsula Village; Twin Cities Village. Note that we recommend you live near an existing village to be able to take advantage of all the benefits of membership.


Q: How do members of Marin Villages connect with a local village?
A: Once you join Marin Villages, a volunteer from your nearest local village will contact you to welcome you and let you know about local village activities. All our local villages also have monthly newsletters and calendars which can be accessed on your computer, or mailed to you if you don’t use a computer.


Q: What if I live in an area of Marin where there isn’t yet a local village near me?
A: You can still join, but we might not be able to source volunteers to help you with certain direct services. You would still be able to participate in events offered by any local village. Many of our members join because they enjoy these events and the connections they make through Marin Villages and their association with a local village, even if they don’t use our direct services.


Q: How do members access direct services?
A: Members call the central office and the office helps find an appropriate volunteer. We are able to fill most, but not all, requests.


Q: Are there any restrictions on membership, or the types of services you can offer?
A: Our services are designed for older adults. Most of our members are age 50 and older. We do not offer medical advice or treatment or hourly home care. Sometimes a member’s needs may be more extensive than we can assist with as an organization whose services are provided by volunteers.

The Marin Villages' office can assist you in determining if we are a good fit for the type of services you need. We ask potential members to consider if they may have limitations that will make it difficult for them to enjoy the full scope of what we have to offer our members.

We are a volunteer-driven organization and, as such, depend on volunteers to fulfill the service requests, plan the local events, and assist members. If our volunteers are unable to assist with a request, we have a network of external service providers recommended by your fellow villagers. These are for-pay services above the dues for membership in Marin Villages. In such cases, we work with members to help them obtain the services they need, and/or to transition to an appropriate level of support for their needs. While we can provide companionship calls and Zoom events even if you are housebound, we are not able to offer full-time home care, expertise in transporting you due to mobility issues, or professional care management.


Q: Can either one spouse or both join? Do you offer assistance for members who cannot afford the membership?
A: Marin Villages offers two types of memberships, individual and household. We do offer discounted membership fees based upon income eligibility.


Q: Is housing available?
A: No. The Village movement is all about helping seniors stay in their current housing with added independence, community, and peace of mind.


Q: Can I be both a member and a volunteer?
A: Yes! We welcome those interested in both.


Q: What if I want to just volunteer? Can I do so without being a member?
A: 
Yes, but many of our volunteers are also members! They find combining membership and volunteering enriches their experience with Marin Villages and also helps us build a strong, sustainable organization.


Q: Can I make a donation? Are donations tax-deductible?
A: Yes. Donations should be made through the Marin Villages’ office or website. Marin Villages is a qualified 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and donations are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. Consult a tax professional for specific guidance.