Home Donors, Volunteers Organizations Nonprofit that helps Yakima, Selah seniors in their homes launches services – Yakima Herald-Republic

Nonprofit that helps Yakima, Selah seniors in their homes launches services – Yakima Herald-Republic

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Rides to the grocery store and medical appointments are an important perk of membership in the Phinney Neighborhood Association Village. So is help around the house.

But perhaps the most valuable aspect of membership in the nonprofit, which serves an area of Northwest Seattle, is the social factor — the personal connection with others that often diminishes as people grow older. Isolation is an even bigger danger for those who are homebound.

The Phinney organization, which helps members stay in their homes by providing a variety of services, has a Friendly Visitors group of volunteers who call members or check in on them in person for conversation and other social interaction.

“There’s one woman who’s 102. She can’t see but wants someone to read the Bible to her,” said Ed Medeiros, a founder of the Phinney Neighborhood organization.

Ed and Susan Medeiros were in Yakima on Monday to help launch the Yakima & Selah Neighbors’ Network during an event at the Yakima Valley Museum.

While noting that it was YES Neighbors’ official launch in opening membership and offering services to the public, board chair Mary Lou Rozdilsky said the gathering was also a celebration and thanks for the group’s members, volunteers, donors and partners in serving seniors.

“Every day, 10,000 people are turning 65 in our country. That’s going to continue for 11 years,” Rozdilsky said. And they want a better quality of life as they grow older.

For many, that means staying in the home they’ve had for years or even decades and thus remaining in the neighborhoods they love amid their friends and family.

“We’re excited to think about how the next year is going to be,” Rozdilsky said.

The volunteer-based nonprofit has provided limited services to a few seniors since it was incorporated in the summer of 2017.

Annual membership fees are $300 for a single person or $400 for a household. With membership open, the group has been training more volunteers.

They can help in many ways, including jobs seniors often entrust to their children or other relatives.

Relying on your children for help with tasks around the house “puts a burden on them,” Ed Medeiros said. So by getting help from volunteers for those jobs, “when you have time with a family member, it’s quality time.

“This also goes for your immediate neighbors. This spreads out the workload,” he said.

Along with regular volunteers, the Phinney Neighborhood group has seasonal volunteers who help prepare gardens, for example, and businesses that allow employees to volunteer during work time.

The Yakima and Selah nonprofit and the Phinney Neighborhood group, like dozens of others around the United States, are based on a national model, the Village to Village Network. There are more than 350 such communities throughout the United States, and 11 in Washington. More are in development, like the Yakima Valley group.

The grassroots movement began in began in Boston 16 years ago when a group of elderly neighbors decided they wanted to help each other remain living in their own homes as long as possible.

Going into its seventh year, the Phinney Neighborhood group has 170 members, which includes individuals and households, and 201 volunteers happy to help in a variety of ways, all with one important goal.

“It’s giving the person who’s getting the help a sense of independence,” Ed Medeiros said.

Yakima & Selah Neighbors’ Network

Donors, volunteers and member clients are needed. Board members also speak in the community; contact them if you’d like to invite them to talk about the network.

  • Annual membership fees: $300 for a single person or $400 for a household.
  • Mailing address: P.O. Box 11691, Yakima, WA 98909.
  • Email: ysnn.wa@gmail.com.
  • Website: YESneighbors.org.
  • Phone: 509-853-1917; offices are located at the Tri-Ply office in Yakima.
  • Service area: Yakima north to Selah, west to West Valley and Naches Heights, south to Union Gap and east to Moxee.

Potluck and Ponder series

The Potluck and Ponder series monthly gathering is open to the public and takes place at the Harman Center, 101 N. 65th Ave., Yakima. The next one is set for April 16. Bring a dish, a drink and RSVP at the group’s website, YESneighbors.org.

Yakima & Selah Neighbors’ Network

Donors, volunteers and member clients are needed. Board members also speak in the community; contact them if you’d like to invite them to talk about the network.

• Annual membership fees: $300 for a single person or $400 for a household.

• Mailing address: P.O. Box 11691, Yakima, WA 98909.

• Email: ysnn.wa@gmail.com.

• Website: YESneighbors.org.

• Phone: 509-853-1917; offices are located at the Tri-Ply office in Yakima.

• Service area: Yakima north to Selah, west to West Valley and Naches Heights, south to Union Gap and east to Moxee.

Potluck and Ponder series

The Potluck and Ponder series monthly gathering is open to the public and takes place at the Harman Center, 101 N. 65th Ave., Yakima. The next one is set for April 16. Bring a dish, a drink and RSVP at the group’s website, YESneighbors.org.

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