As the only local nonprofit retirement community in the New River Valley, Warm Hearth Village (WHV) strongly values collaborations with the greater community to provide enriching programs for residents. Residents benefit greatly from interactions with school-aged children, local college students, performers and peers from throughout the New River Valley. Volunteers bring a vibrancy to the village and complement the efforts of staff adding a layer of engagement and interaction that takes everyone a step beyond the expected.
Sachin Gandhi, a junior in Clinical Neuroscience at Virginia Tech became a volunteer seven months ago to socialize with residents for an intergenerational interactive experience. “Volunteering at Warm Hearth lets me put myself in the residents’ shoes, learn their perspectives and understand their backgrounds. Everyone has a story to tell and it’s important to take a step back and listen so we can help as much as possible,” he said. He continued, “Plus as our population lives longer, we deal with more age-related diseases like dementia. Volunteering my time socializing with the residents keeps them active and contributes to their overall mental health. It also gives me a sense of purpose because working with the elderly lets me make a direct, positive impact on the lives of others,” he said.
In 2022, Warm Hearth Village invested in a new volunteer management and communication platform called Volgistics. This platform facilitates volunteer engagement by posting available opportunities and directly scheduling more than 270 in roles such as hosting “senior” proms to cleaning up woodland walking trails. Sara McCarter, Project Manager, works to trains new volunteers and coordinates volunteers in the Village.
Intergenerational experiences were integral to our founder’s vision for Warm Hearth. Dr. Kroontje knew the value of collaboration with our greater community not only from the resources it would bring to the village but for how it would help seniors living here contribute their own talents and remain engaged and active.
To learn more about volunteer or collaborative opportunities at the village, visit our website at retire.org and click the Volunteer button at the upper right.