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FAQs (Frequently Asked 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) non-profit organization. Marin Villages has a small administrative staff that supports our local villages.

Members call the Marin Villages’ office when they have a need for a particular service or form of assistance and we work to help fulfill member needs.

Local villages are branches of Marin Villages. They are not separately incorporated. These local villages help members stay engaged and active by focusing on presenting a variety of programs tailored to their members’ interests.

Our programs range from coffees and happy hours, to educational talks and cultural outings, to hiking and games.

These offer the opportunity to meet new friends (something that gets harder as we age) and help prevent the isolation which often accompanies aging.
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Q: How many local Villages are there? Is one near me?
A: There are currently 6 local Villages affiliated with Marin Villages. Separately, over 200 Villages operate nationally and more are in formation.

You can access the Village to Village network at vtvnetwork.org to locate a village near you.
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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 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.

We have a number of members who do not use our direct services but enjoy our local village programs.
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Q: Can anyone join as a member? 
A: Our mission is to help older adults remain active, connected and independent in the homes and communities they love.

For that reason, our programs and services are designed for older adults. Most of our members are age 50 and older.
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Q: It’s a wonderful concept, but I don’t need any services yet. Can I just come to your social and educational events since I don’t need any direct services?
A: You might consider joining for other reasons than needing direct services 'right now'.

Many of our members find the new friends they make and the sense of community they develop through Marin Villages two of the most important benefits of belonging.

Also membership fees support a substantial portion of the work of Marin Villages, helping to assure that we will be there for you in the future when our direct services might be just the thing to help you remain independent in your own home.

And keep in mind, accidents do happen even to the most able-bodied. Being a member will give you immediate access to our services. The membership fee is the same even if you don’t choose to use our direct services.
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Q: What do your members value most about Marin Villages?
A: Here’s a brief sampling of comments from members. You can also click here for a video to hear what some of our older members say about Marin Villages when we hosted a Birthday Party for members turning 90 in 2018.

"I can't thank you enough...without the volunteer visits, grocery trips and friendships, she (my mother) would have withered away." (Gwen, Jan. 2018)
"Marin Villages; IS my social connection." (Rhoda, 2017)
"I never expected to make new friends at my age & and younger ones at that!"  (Ruth, 2016)
“The bonus [of Marin Villages] has been to have the privilege of meeting and getting to know so many wonderful people.” (Dave 2018)
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Q: How do members of Marin Villages connect with a local village?
A: Once you join Marin Villages, a volunteer from the local village nearest to you will be in contact with 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.
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Q: How do members access direct services, such as transportation, or handyman 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.
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Q: Are there any restrictions on membership, or the types of services you can offer?
A: Our services are directed and designed for older adults. Most of our members are age 50 and older. We do not offer medical advice or treatment or hourly homecare. 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 many of the service requests, plan the local events and assist members.

If our volunteers are unable to assist with a request, we have an extended network of vetted service providers. These are 'for pay' services above the dues for Marin Villages membership.

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.

If you need full-time home care, expertise in transporting you due to mobility issues, or professional care management, we're probably not the right organization for you.
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Q: What if both my spouse and I want to join? Or conversely, suppose just I want to join?
A: Marin Villages offers two types of memberships - individual and household.
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Q: Do you offer any scholarships or assistance for members who can’t afford your membership fees?
A: We offer reduced membership fees based upon income eligibility.
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Q: Is housing available?
A: No, the Village movement is all about helping seniors stay in their current housing with added independence, connections and peace of mind.
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Q: What is the difference between “member” and “volunteer?”
A: A member pays modest monthly dues and receives services from our generous volunteers. Volunteers are background-checked, local community members.

They receive no monetary compensation for their services. Some of our members are also volunteers, but volunteers do not need to be members.
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Q: Are volunteers paid? Required to be tipped by members?
A: No, volunteers are not paid and tipping is not permitted.
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Q: Can I be both a member and a volunteer?
A: Yes, you will be doubly appreciated for it!
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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 join as a way to “pay it forward” for when they might themselves need the sort of direct services our volunteers provide.
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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.

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Q: Which is the correct web and e-mail address: info@marinvillage.org or info@marinvillages.org (with the “s”)?
A: Either one or both will work and get you to the correct place. The “s” is up to you!

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Marin Villages is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization • 415-457-4633 • email • 4340 Redwood Highway, Suite F-142 San Rafael, CA 94903