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The Village Common FAQs


Q: What’s the difference between The Village Common of Rhode Island (TVC) and a local village such as Barrington Village or Providence Village?

A: TVC is the “umbrella” 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The local village in your community is not separately incorporated. TVC has a small professional staff that supports all our villages, whereas each local village is led by members and volunteers from the community.

Our local villages, together with TVC, help members stay engaged and active by offering a range of practical support, such as transportation or help with minor home repairs, as well as a variety of programs and activities tailored to their members’ interests. Programs range from walks, yoga, and get-togethers to educational talks and cultural outings. These activities offer the opportunity to meet new friends (something that gets harder as we age) and help prevent the isolation that often accompanies aging.

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. That said, there is no age requirement for becoming a member of TVC. TVC welcomes people of all backgrounds and economic means.

To start the membership process, call Member Services (401-441-5240) to arrange to speak with a membership ambassador. The membership ambassador will answer any questions you may have and review member benefits, dues, and other membership information.

Q: What if I live in an area of Rhode Island where there isn’t a local village near me?

A: You can still join one of our local villages, but we most likely would not be able to help you with direct services such as rides or home-based handy help. You would still be able to participate in events offered by TVC and the local village. Many of our members join because they enjoy these events and the connections they make. A membership ambassador can assist you in determining if membership would be beneficial for you. To arrange to speak with a membership ambassador, call Member Services (401-441-5240).

You could also consider starting a local village in your community. TVC plays an active role in supporting groups that want to create a local village where they live. We can provide you with information about how to get started and continual support along the way. Call the TVC office (401-228-8683) to explore possibilities.

Q: It’s a wonderful concept but I don’t need any help now. Can I join and just come to your social and educational events?

A: Yes, many of our members find the new friends they make and the sense of community they develop through their local village and TVC to be among the most important benefits of belonging.

Also, by becoming a member now you help ensure that we will be there for you in the future when our support might be just the thing you need to help you remain 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 support.

Q: How do members access volunteer support, such as transportation or help with minor home repairs?

A: Members call Member Services (401-441-5240) to request a specific service (such as a ride to a medical appointment or help with a minor home repair) and we connect them with an appropriate volunteer. Every effort is made to fulfill a member’s request, although it’s not always possible to find a volunteer to take a specific service.

Q: Are there any restrictions on the types of services you offer?

A: We do not offer medical advice or treatment, or in-home care. Sometimes a member's needs are more extensive than we can assist with as a volunteer-driven organization. A membership ambassador can help you determine if we are a good fit for the type of services you need. To arrange to speak with a membership ambassador, call Member Services (401-441-5240).

Q. What if both my spouse and I want to join, or I want to join on my own?

A: TVC has two types of membership - individual and dual household. The dual household membership can include your spouse or partner, or another friend or family member living with you.

Q: Is housing available?

A: No, as part of the nation-wide Village Movement, TVC is all about helping older adults stay in their current homes with added support, connections and peace of mind.

Q: What is the difference between a member and a volunteer? Can I be both a member and a volunteer?

A: TVC is a volunteer-driven membership organization. Members pay modest monthly dues and receive support from our generous volunteers. Volunteers are vetted and trained local community residents. You can be only a member, only a volunteer, or both a member and a volunteer.

Q: Are volunteers paid or required to be tipped by members?

A: No, volunteers are not paid, and tipping is not permitted.

Q: How can I become a volunteer?

A: TVC and its local villages offer a range of volunteer opportunities. These may include giving rides to members for medical appointments, errands, or other outings; providing minor home repair services; offering technology support; planning social engagements; fundraising; serving on committees and in leadership positions; providing office help; and many other options. If you are interested in learning more, call the TVC office (401-228-8683) to discuss volunteer opportunities and how to apply to become a volunteer.

Volunteers must be:

  • At least 18 years of age (with exceptions for approved school related projects)
  • Willing to participate in a volunteer screening/background check process
  • Comfortable working independently

Q: Does TVC provide liability insurance coverage for its volunteers?

A: Yes, we do.

Q: Can I make a donation to TVC? Are donations tax deductible?

A: Yes, we very much appreciate donations, which can be made through our website ( TVC 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. For further information on how to donate to TVC, call the TVC office (401-228-8683).