Creating a Cycle of Support for Aging | San Francisco Village

By cultivating relationships between volunteers and members, here at San Francisco Village, we’re creating a support cycle for our community that spans generations.

We often think of volunteers when we need a helping hand. But members can be equally helpful to volunteers, creating an impactful friendship.

“It eliminates the fear of aging for the younger volunteer. It can actually be more fulfilling for the volunteer than member!” board member Bill Haskell said.

This friendship also helps us cross another important bridge: realizing the importance of giving and receiving help.

“I’ve become aware in watching myself and others that when you ask for help, you give somebody else a gift — the gift of being needed and giving help to others. It’s a heart-warming experience to help someone else,” he said.

It’s not easy to ask for help, but these relationships can help us feel more at ease with reaching out to each other in times of need.

“It will be easier to ask going forward because I’m not a stranger. And that’s really reassuring. It’s like a mothers’ group — you’re supposed to know what you’re doing, but it helps to have other people to relate to who need help figuring this out,” said member Olive Shaughnessy.

“Volunteers may get mentorship from members that they may not be getting from older generations of their own family,” said member Joanne Low. “And likewise, members may get relationships that they’re not getting from younger members of their family who may live far away.”

“In fact, a volunteer who started off giving car rides to a member became a member herself after they developed a close friendship!” Joanne said.

Like Olive, Joanne, and Bill, you or someone you know could benefit from aging better together. Inquire about San Francisco Village membership today by filling out an application here. And, share this blog with others.