Senior Grant Spotlight: Pasadena Village

One of PCF’s six 2022 Senior Grants will help Pasadena Village provide transportation for older adults in the Pasadena area, as well as fund the new Walking with Ease program, an evidence-based method of helping seniors exercise safely.

Pasadena Village is a membership organization of adults over the age of 55 with a mission to foster vital independent living in a spirit of mutual support, enrichment, and inclusiveness. Started in 2012, the organization strives to keep older adults engaged in life by facilitating new friendships, meaningful experiences, and involvement in the wider community.

A Mission to Beat Isolation
In early June, PCF staff member Sarah Hilbert packed a picnic lunch for a visit to Michillinda Park, where “the Villagers” meet several times a year for socializing. The hour-long event showcased the strong social support system the members have forged and gave PCF a chance to hear how Pasadena Village has created pertinent and meaningful programs for adults who want to “age in place” within their homes.

Pasadena Village members met for one of their monthly picnic lunches on Friday, June 3 and shared how the organization has made a tremendous difference in their aging process. Executive Director Katie Brandon, second from bottom right, also joined the discussion.

Deeply embedded in the mission of Pasadena Village is the issue of isolation and its impact on seniors. To address that, the organization hosts a broad array of programming that includes walking and hiking groups, discussion and support groups, and a robust calendar of online and in-person events.

Members are very active in creating programming and often lend their own expertise to help others. Those who have background in the health and social work fields, for example, help staff the support assessment team, which arranges care for members who need extra attention when issues like a health crisis, a sudden move, or dementia arise. “It’s about building community and finding people who are going through this stage in life right along with you,” says Sue Kujawa, who served as Pasadena Village’s first Executive Director in 2012 and, now retired, continues to enjoy the Village as an active member.

The lunch bunch were eager to share that they love their fellow members and treasure the help, friendship, and the sense of dignity that the organization has created in their lives. Says member Claire Gorfinkel, “All old people are not your grandparents! When you get to know us, you learn that we’re an incredibly fun group of people.”

An elderly man and woman wave from a car.
PCF’s Senior Grant will help Pasadena Village coordinate rides for low-income seniors.

About PCF’s Senior Grant Program

The PCF Senior Grant Program launched in 2008 to support Pasadena-area nonprofits that assist the “frail elderly” – aging individuals who are vulnerable due to physical limitations, economic hardship, or mental health issues. The grant program falls under PCF’s Human Services area of interest.  Since 2007, PCF has awarded 82 grants totaling $700,000 to 21 unduplicated organizations.

In 2022, six organizations received Senior Grant funding totaling $64,000:

  • Armenian Relief Society
  • Huntington Health
  • National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON)
  • Pacific Clinics
  • Pasadena Senior Center
  • Pasadena Village