May 2020
Upcoming Events
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Would you like your event or notice to appear in the next Village Voices Newsletter? Use  this simple form  to submit your material.  Please submit by the 15th of the previous month. Late submissions are not guaranteed placement in the next newsletter.
GivingTuesday Now is May 5 th,
a special day inviting the world to support nonprofits in this time of great need. We encourage you to consider giving as you are able to the causes that matter to you. To make a donation to Ashby Village in honor of Giving Tuesday, CLICK HERE.
Ashby Village is Here and Helping
While we may be apart in this mandated isolation, as a member of Ashby Village you are not alone. Ashby Village volunteers continue to assist members with essential services such as grocery shopping and computer support. Staff and volunteers are making regular check in calls to our members, medication delivery, and are available for guidance and support. We are also offering an expanding assortment of live and recorded online programming.

In this moment of disappointing news on the health, social, economic and political landscape, Ashby Village is grateful to share that it achieved its $200K goal for the 2019-2020 fiscal year.
These funds balance the annual budget and are used for Ashby Village operating expenses.

We would like to extend our deepest appreciation to our committed:

We are honored by the way our community continues to recognize the importance of what we do.
In honor of this Tenth Anniversary, we cordially invite you
to join us for our special “10 for 10” programming series:
ten events that celebrate who we are as an organization, a community, and a Village.
Film P remiere Goes Virtual

Our 10th Anniversary Gala, previously scheduled this month at the Claremont Club & Spa, was to premiere the Ashby Village film: Aging Better. Together. Rather than postponing it to sometime in the future, we've decided to host this premier as a start to the gala, online! Stay tuned for your special invitation.
Creative Aging Launch

At least 65 Ashby Village members mastered the complexities of Zoom and joined the first event in our new Creative Aging initiative, on April 17. It was our most ambitious “virtual” Ashby Village event to date and an encouraging display of enthusiasm for a major new program to help develop and share our members' creativity, timed to coincide with the Village’s 10 th anniversary.
A panel of established and less-experienced artist-members (Lisa Esherick, Peter Sussman, Nancy Rubin, Pat Sakai, Barbi Jo Stim, and Russ Ellis) discussed the origins and paths of their individual creative journeys and challenged the membership to start telling their own stories, with their own creative outlets...
Our second online event will include breakout discussion groups, allowing participants to explore personal creative interests, possibilities and challenges. Members and volunteers are welcome.

When: Friday, May 22nd, 1:00-2:30pm
More Upcoming Events
Richmond Museum Virtual Tour

When: Wednesday, May 6th at 1 PM

Ashby Village now serves Richmond and Richmond is much more than just Rosie the Riveter. Join Melinda McCrary, Executive Director of the Richmond Museum of History and Culture for an exclusive tour of he museum. See the many facets of Richmond's rich past, including the Ohlone Indians, the Lao migration, African America and Jewish leaders and much more.
Discovering Emma of Normandy, Twice Crowned Queen of England -
Book Reading by Patricia Bracewell

When: Thursday May 7 th at 10 AM
Where: via Zoom

Emma of Normandy was a significant figure in the politics of early 11th century England as queen, dowager queen, and queen mother over the course of a career that spanned fifty years. She was the daughter of a Norman duke, the wife of two kings of England and the mother of two English kings. She lived through a perilous time in English history, when the kingdom was beset by disloyal enemies within its borders and by ravaging Vikings without. Novelist Patricia Bracewell, who spent fourteen years researching this remarkable queen and traveled to England, France and Denmark to uncover her story, has based three historical novels—Shadow on the Crown, The Price of Blood, and the upcoming The Steel Beneath the Silk, on what she learned.

Join her on a Zoom journey as she re-visits Queen Emma’s life through words and pictures, from her birth in Normandy to her final days in Winchester. Step back a thousand years and discover England’s only twice-crowned queen.
Living As We Grow Older - Improv Class

When: Thursday, May 14th at 1 PM

In a world that's upside-down, and in the face of ever-changing challenges, we can create new ways of living life together using improvisation. 

Improvisation can be very helpful in building our lives. It gives us tools to continue to grow and develop, no matter our age or life circumstances. Life by and large is unscripted. We may have a plan and then something happens and we need to improvise. We can get stuck thinking we need to know how to respond. Improv and play can help us break out of being stuck and help us create something new.
You’re Doing What? Older Women’s Tales of Achievement and Adventure
Book reading - Compiled and Edited by Marjorie Penn Lasky

When: Wednesday, May 20 th at 1 PM
Where: via Zoom

You’re Doing What? is an inspirational and insightful call to action to its readers. These stories are certain to encourage women - and men - of all ages to view aging as an opportunity to act on long deferred or never before-imagined dreams.

During this reading, you can meet daring older women, hear about women of different races, classes, and sexual orientations facing various challenges and choices as they age, and the women who refuse to succumb to disabilities. They are all embracing new adventures and changing what it means to be an “older woman.” Celebrate them! And let them inspire you despite those voices that still might challenge, “You’re Doing What!”
By Karin Evans
As the shelter-in-place mandate went into effect, Ashby Village staffers quickly switched gears to figure out creative ways to support members confined at home who might need some help or just some company.
Immediately, Ashby Village mustered up a group of volunteers who began reaching out by telephone, starting with members who were 90 years old and up, then working their way down through to the 80- and 70-year-old members, and eventually to every member... 

Letter of Appreciation
From A Member

Dear Amy,

This is the “Thank you” I wanted to send you  in writing , for the kindness you have shown us and others by Volunteering for Ashby Village.

When I was about 14 years old and living in Southern California (Arcadia), I had my first job — delivering a newspaper (The Pasadena Star News) on my bicycle 7 days a week to 140 homes. On one downhill street, there was an elderly, frail lady whom I was told always wanted her paper thrown up on her porch. I did this faithfully for the year I had that job.

I was to collect the $1.95-month fee for the paper, knocking on the 140 doors. When I knocked on her door to collect the December payment, she said as she handed me the money, “Young man, I want you to know how much I appreciate  always  getting the paper on my porch — rain or shine. I have seen you out my window, stopping your bicycle when you miss and walking back up to get my paper out of the bushes — and putting it up on the porch. Thank you so much — and Merry Christmas!”

I felt like that lady when you brought the groceries to us, talked with us, and drove away. Thank you for bringing back that wonderfully-rewarding memory. You are a very special person.


With much appreciation,
SB~Ashby Village Member
A Note About Connection Team
Weekly Visits

I am writing to you as a volunteer of the Ashby Village Connections Team. Our purpose is to provide friendly, on-going visits to Ashby Village members who are experiencing some degree of social isolation. Most of us volunteers—there are about twenty of us—are seniors ourselves.

During our visits we do various activities, depending on the needs and wants of the member. For example, these activities range from taking a walk in the neighborhood, to playing cards, reading together, watching a video, or enjoying a cup of tea.

Personally, the activities with my member, a 96-year-old gentleman with exceptional and agile mental abilities, include taking a long walk, often with lively and wide-ranging conversation, and doing a routine of stretching exercises.

Of course, like everyone else, Covid-19 has changed the routines of all the volunteers. To cope, we have resorted to texting, emails, phone calls, skyping and zooming and any other remote means possible. None of us are actually making physical visits at this time. As my member lives in a care facility, no non-family visitors are allowed. We are all anxious to get back to our regular routines, but only when it is safe for everyone.

The one thing, however, that I believe we volunteers agree upon is that we receive as much or more than we give. I know that the appreciation, the friendship, and the sharing of life stories that I receive are of great value to me. And, probably not noticed by him, I am receiving valuable modeling on how to respond to those years that are, perhaps, not far away for me.

- David Kundtz, Volunteer

If you are interested in being a part of the Connections Team, please email Ellen Newman at
Healthier Aging
Nature Walking in the Time of Covid-19
Written by Audre Newman and Ella Hirst, Edited by
Celeste Burrows

One CAN go walking in nature these days! Gov. Newsom said 4/24 “If it is open, just abide by social distancing.” This is especially important to us, being in a vulnerable population. “Outdoor access has strongly proven links to mental health, emotional wellness, physical health” say many experts [1]. We must assume that anyone might be infected and avoid close contact with them. This is challenging in our well-loved natural parks. 

Read more about:

  • Deciding where to walk
  • Social distancing behaviors on trails (Audre's method)
  • Some suggested trails ...HERE!
L to R: Roger, Esther, Ella, Celeste on the Upper Strawberry Canyon
Fire Trail, March 2020
How to Prepare for Medical Care You Might Need: A New Ashby Village Resource

In these times of Covid-19, we can take care of ourselves and help our loved ones by being prepared if we should need medical care. When you develop a need for urgent medical care, health care staff will want important medical details available so that you get the best care possible.

This document, developed and edited by members of the Social Care Team, helps create your own medical emergency information packet that can be given to paramedics, emergency room staff, and emergency care clinicians.
The Second Part of Our Member Survey Launched
April 17th!

All of our members should have received an email or printed hard copy of the second part of our member survey. If you are part of a household membership, each member should complete their own survey.

Just as the first part, this survey is confidential and anonymous , and focuses on many of the topics highlighted at the forum, including communication (both internal and external) and overall satisfaction with Ashby Village as an organization.
Updates and results of our two surveys will be shared through our Village Voices newsletter. We hope you will participate and share your voice!

If you have any questions please email:
Tech Tips
Would you like personal assistance from Technology & Electronics Volunteers?

The Tech Team wants you to know that we're here for you!
Although technology volunteers aren't coming to your home, we're creating ways to help you with high priority needs such as:
  • using communication apps like Zoom, Skype, and Facetime to keep in touch with family, friends, and Ashby Village
  • ordering groceries online
  • communicating with your health providers via their web portal
Volunteers can also help you with entertainment! We can familiarize you with streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, or HBO Go.
Heads up! Be careful of COVID19-related email phishing scams and pop-up windows when you're using the internet.
Phishing scams “use both fear and financial incentives to create urgency to try to prompt users to respond,” Google tells us. Scams may impersonate government organizations or charities in an attempt to solicit donations or personal information. Or scams may claim to offer information on a cure if you just 'click here.' These phishing scams are not new - they just have new subject lines and come-ons.

To learn to recognize phishing scams and what to do if you receive one, read the Village Tech Team article, Internet Scams and Phishing , on the Tech Tips and Resources page, April 2020, here .
Another excellent resource focuses on Medicare scams. Read pp. 4-6 of Carol Haig's article, Senior Medicare Patrol , in the newsletter of the Village Network California.
To request service: email  or call 510-204-9200.

When you put in your request, let us know if you're familiar with online communication tools such as Zoom, Skype, Facetime, or similar. If you're not familiar, a volunteer will arrange a training session.
What We Are Reading
Curated by volunteer Patricia Hom

by Robin Seton Jefferson, Forbes, 08/26/2019

by Claire Gilbody-Dickerson, Metro, 08/26/2019

by Leah Campbell, healthline, 09/14/2019

by Howard Gleckman, Forbes, 10/02/2019

by Nick Triggle, BBC News, 10/04/2019

by Stephen Warwick, iMore, 10/12/2019
Bulletin Board
Welcome to the Ashby Village Family!

Sophia Johnson, a long time Ashby Village volunteer, and hubby Tyler welcomed the arrival of their baby girl Edith Ray born April 13, 2020!
Best wishes to your family for a lifetime of laughter, singing, happiness, and love.
Your Ashby Village Family
Two Meals for $10 Prepared By Local Restaurants, Delivered by Volunteers For Free is a volunteer based organization that was created to support the Berkeley community in this time of need. Their mission is to deliver fixed-priced affordable meals to individuals at-risk for Covid-19. Their approach provides incremental revenue to local restaurants helping them keep their doors open. For $10 + tax you receive a "ration" (one dinner + next day lunch) delivered to your door just after 6pm the following day. To order your meal, or volunteer to support this effort, go to, or call (831) 264-0237
Notary Public Offering

Ashby Village member and volunteer Ella Hirst also serves as a California Notary Public which has been deemed “essential” by the State of California. If you need documents notarized at this time, provided there is a safe way to do so at your location, please contact the office at . Ella will not charge Ashby Village members or volunteers for time and travel.
Be Aware of Fake PG&E Phone Calls

Scammers are posing as PG&E and calling customers saying their power is about to be shut off because they hadn't paid their bill. The caller then tells them to send money through a cash app. Do not send any money or share any personal information! PG&E has stated they won't be turning off power right now due to the shelter-in-place mandate.

Here's a news story from last year about this particular scam.
Thank you to the Ashby Village volunteers who contributed to this issue of the Village Voices newsletter.