The Village Common Newsletter - April 2020
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United Way’s Day of Giving
Wed. April 1st is United Way's 401Gives Day of Giving Support the Village Common and Your Local Village!
We are working hard to make sure that social distancing does not become social isolation.
A Message from Jo Ellen Mistarz, Executive Director, and Suzanne Francis, President

Dear Village Common Members and Friends,

In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) public health crisis, The Village Common has cancelled all in-person activities and events. We look forward to rescheduling these valued programs as soon as civic guidelines permit. Although we are not gathering in person, our Service Coordinator phone line is open, and our volunteers would love to hear from you at 441- 5240. Rides with Village volunteers in Providence and Burrillville are available for essential needs only. However, our services such as tech support to help you stay in touch with family, or errands to pick up an on-line pharmacy order will continue as volunteers are available. A Service Coordinator can also set up a regular friendly check-in call for you.

We can help you identify resources in the community available outside the Village’s capabilities, which you can connect to remotely. These include delivery options for food, pharmaceuticals, and supplies. We have an extensive list of these resources accessible by a web link emailed to you last week, and the list will be updated periodically. In addition to calling us, the following resources may be helpful to you:

The Village Common is still functioning through its Villages as a group of neighbors helping neighbors, and we are a stronger community for it. For each of you, we share a wise friend’s advice:

  • Have a daily schedule and stick to it.
  • Have a circle of friends that you check in with regularly.
  • Have projects that keep you engaged and productive.
  • Get out in the sunshine every day.

On Saturday July 18, there will be a Walkathon held in honor of our beloved friend, Diane Goldman, who died last July. The walkathon will be held to remember and celebrate her Life and to raise money for one of her favorite charities, Camp Angel Wings. Camp Angel Wings is a summer camp held for bereaved children and is run by Southcoast VNA in Massachusetts. As many of you know, Diane volunteered for many organizations and Camp Angel Wings was one. In fact, the weekend before her accident, she volunteered as the camp nurse.

The Walkathon will be held at Slater Park in Pawtucket, RI. Time: TBD. More details to follow. For more information or to volunteer to help plan and run the Walkathon, please contact Jody Josephson at

Dance for All People:
Good for Body and Spirit

By Sue Bayley

Providence Village members were treated recently to a Dance for All People (known as DAPpers) demonstration class of the arts in healing. Led by Rachel Balaban at Hamilton House, the group experienced an hour of movements to exercise the body and inspire the spirit using music and dance.

A gentle warm-up, then rhythmic and graceful movements, both seated and standing, provided good will and physical energy. By the end of the hour everyone was smiling and chatting amiably. The session finished with a round of “elbow bumps,” a concession to the Coronavirus emergency and social distancing. 

Members of Hamilton House, the Providence Village and The Village Common are invited to attend DAPpers classes at Brown University. Classes are currently suspended, but Rachel welcomes new participants when they resume. 

Rachel is an Adjunct Lecturer in Brown University’s Department of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies and is co-founder and co-director of Artists and Scientists as Partners (ASaP) at Brown. She has a personal commitment to helping all people access their vitality and health through dance. She offers classes in five locations including Brown University; Newport County YMCA; Connecticut College; Dartmouth (MA) Council On Aging; and Golden Pond Assisted Living in Hopkington MA.. She is Dance for Parkinson’s Disease Coordinator for Connecticut and Rhode Island and regularly teaches People with Parkinson’s and their caregivers.

Service Referrals

The Providence Village is exploring ways for you to prosper even while limiting your outings. On March 17, the Village sent an email to all members and volunteers. Within the email, there is a link that takes you to a page with an evolving list of resources that includes deliveries for groceries and pharmaceuticals, staying connected remotely, and online literature. If you do not use email, you were sent the information by post.

If you didn't receive the email or don't have the letter, contact a Service Coordinator (401) 441- 5240. Our volunteers are standing by to assist you with any question or request for help.

The Occasional

Dear Providence Village members and volunteers! You are called upon to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and submit a piece of writing to a newsletter feature we're calling The Occasional. Do you have a favorite quotation that has inspired you or gets you through the day? Would you like to share a special encounter you'd had with a Village member or volunteer? Have you reflected on this stage of your life, or returned to a special memory? We hope to print your piece in Providence Village section of the Village Common newsletter.

Please send your brief composition (about 300 words) to John Harkey ( or mail to him at 90 Larch, Providence, RI 02906. Submission deadline: first of each month. We'll work with you to edit for clarity and brevity.

By Allan Klepper  

A growing movement across the USA
Helps aging seniors in their homes stay.
BARRINGTON VILLAGE has no street address,
Won’t find it on maps or with GPS.
A new local virtual community:
Volunteers and members acting in unity.  

Our volunteers will all have been vetted,
So contacts with them not be regretted.
Offering rides and technology support,
Home safety and home tasks of a sort.
Promoting friendly social connections
And hints to avoid mis-directions.
Help with urgent resource navigations
To connect with proper service locations.  

Most members are seniors now retired.
Volunteers may be members, but not required.
If interest spurred, please don’t hesitate
Just contact us and we’ll make a date
To discuss details; all the ins and the outs,
And eliminate any of your doubts
Affiliating with this new operation,
And contributing to its successful creation.


Barrington Village  (401) 400-5599

Providence Village
Group Activities April 2020

Photos by Jane Adler

Although the coronarvirus has put a stop to all of our group activities, one of the bright side of hunkering down is that most of us have plenty of time to read, a real pleasure for many of our members.

With that in mind, Providence Village book club will start meeting again as soon as it is safe or perhaps through an online meeting, conference call or other format. Until then, here’s the list of books we’d selected to read through July. Although libraries are closed, Books on the Square has parking lot pickups and for those not in the area, Riffraff Bookstore and Symposium Books deliver in Providence. Enjoy, and we will see you when it’s safe or through technological methods.

April:  American Nation by Colin Woodard  
May:  Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively  
June:  Happiness As Such by Natalia Ginzburg  
July:   Agent Zig Zag by Ben MacIntyre    

Illustration by John Harkey
The Village Common of RI
Board of Directors
Suzanne Francis, President
Jim Maxwell, Past President
Anne Connor, Secretary
Peter Viner-Brown, Treasurer

Lenore Bunting, Lorraine Keeney, Pat Mattingly, Susan McCalmont, Bonnie Ryvicker, Terry Percelay, Joe Santarlasci, Phil West

The Village Common of RI
Advisory Council

Barry Fain, Jay Glasson, Beverly Ledbetter, Lynette Lopes, Marcus Mitchell, Herbert Rakatansky, Corinne Calise Russo, Barbara Sokoloff, Bill Twaddell, Phil West

Newsletter Staff
 Wendy Oliver
Design: Josh Kemp   
Writers:  Jane Adler, Sue Bayley, John Harkey, Rosalind Ladd, Vivian Malloy, Wendy Oliver, Diane Strommer, Eliza Sutton, Phil West 
Photography:  Jane Adler, John Harkey, Phil West,
Obituary Assistance: Anne Connor, Phil West
Copyright © 2020 Village Common of RI, All rights reserved.

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