Every month The VHA advisory board meets with an agenda and goals in mind.  Each program director and vice president gives a report, and upcoming events and ideas are discussed.  This past month I noted for the first time how many invitations for our New Resident Night were being sent out…. over 500!

I helped out with New Resident Night in May and enjoyed meeting and greeting our guests as they arrived.  At one point we asked for a show of hands for who was from each area of The Villages, and hands went up for North, Central, South, and Far South.  As I looked around the room, I was reminded once again of the value of The VHA in acclimating new residents to our community.

The Villages demographic is diverse and constantly changing. There are always new, younger residents who are ready and raring to enjoy the active lifestyle here.  The older, established members of our community are often the ones who have become involved in volunteering and giving back.  Still others are dealing with aging in place (with a variety of options that meet their needs).  Plus, there is always real estate turnover when residents either upgrade to a new home, (the average Villager moves three times!), move to be closer to family again, or pass away.

As an organization, The VHA is multi-faceted as we work to meet the needs of this dynamic community.  We welcome new residents, focusing on valuable information they need, safety, and ways to get involved.   We offer durable medical equipment on loan, free of charge, provide a variety of volunteer opportunities, put together educational workshops and hold fun social events, and much more.  We have developed a partner network within The Villages to benefit not only our members, but all residents.  And we do it all with goodwill, not animosity.  That matters to me, and hopefully it matters to you.

It is one thing to be a resource; quite another to be a part of that resource.  I can honestly say that being involved with The VHA has enriched my life here.  I so appreciate the behind-the-scenes people who have created and maintain the lifestyle we enjoy here and the volunteers who donate countless hours to organizations and lifestyle clubs here for the simple good of humanity.

My husband and I are celebrating our 50th Anniversary in June, and one of the lessons marriage taught me is that things don’t “just happen”.  As a child growing up, my needs were always met and I took my parents for granted.  Becoming the wife who had to run a household and raising five children who took me for granted was quite an eye opener.  Thankfully, we took on the challenges involved and became responsible adults. I feel that way about The Villages; we often take for granted that the lifestyle we enjoy here will simply continue to “happen”.   It will if we take responsibility for “Keeping the Dream Alive”.

Jan Palmer, Editor
The VHA Voice