One of the tasks the Eastside Village’s planning group recently took on was to develop mission and values statements for our Village. These tasks can be painful and exhausting, if group members insist on going round and round endlessly wordsmithing each line, or if there is a great difference of opinion in your planning group over what your purpose and values should be.
We were fortunate not to have those problems. A small subcommittee took on the task of collecting mission and values statements from other Villages and used them to draft proposed statements for our Village. This was accomplished by an initial face-to-face meeting followed by discussion and revision via email. When the subcommittee had a “first draft” they were satisfied with, it was sent out to the entire planning group–along with the mission and values statements from other Villages—so they could study the examples and draft before our next planning group meeting.
At the planning group meeting, we discussed what worked for us in the draft and what changes and additions we thought needed to be made. The subcommittee took the group’s input and used it to make additions and modifications. The revised mission and values statements were then emailed out to the entire group for feedback. And after one or two final tweaks, we were done.
We were greatly assisted in this process by the group’s willingness to see these as “working” documents, which we might decide to amend or improve down the road. Our goal was to come up with the best version we could “for now” but to remain open to the possibility that we might see things differently as we continue through the Village development process and that, if that happened, we could always revisit and change them. This reminds me of the saying “Don’t make the perfect the enemy of the good” and don’t operate as if every decision is set in stone. It’s okay to grow and change and refine as you move forward and learn more.
So, what did we come up with as Eastside Village, PDX’s working mission and vision statements? Here they are:
Our Mission and Values
The mission of Eastside Village, PDX is to build a strong, lasting, intergenerational community and to engage and coordinate a network of trained volunteers and high quality service providers to ensure that our members are able to age at home and in community safely, affordably, happily and healthily for as long as they choose.
Eastside Village, PDX is guided by the following values:
Enabling people to age in community and do “as much for as little cost for as long as possible.” To that end, we are a “volunteer first” village that develops smart, practical cost-effective ways to address our members’ needs.
Recognizing and celebrating our mutual interdependence and our lasting commitment to each other over time.
Fostering community and building strong, caring relationships.
Appreciating the richness and diversity of our EastsideVillage, PDX neighborhoods.
Being inclusive of and welcoming to people of all ages, races, faiths, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations and gender identities, and socio-economic levels.
Treasuring the willingness of the members of our Village and the wider community to volunteer their time and expertise in support of our mission, and striving to ensure that volunteers’ work with EastsideVillage, PDX is always meaningful and appreciated.
Valuing inter-generational connections as an integral part of village life.
Honoring the privacy, dignity, and independence of our members and volunteers.
Protecting the security of our members and volunteers in dealing with vendors and service providers.
Valuing the advice and opinions of our members and regularly soliciting their feedback on village programming and volunteer & vendor services.
Fostering a climate of growth, exploration and lifelong learning in our community.
Valuing and actively seeking opportunities for mutually beneficial partnerships and collaboration.
Creating a village that is owned by its members and stewarded by community-elected servant leaders.
Being transparent in our decision making and honest in all our dealings.
Being innovative and agile with our programs and services; staying abreast of new approaches and technologies; responding gracefully to changing times and evolving member needs.
Being committed to enduring and sustainable growth and the wise and prudent use of all EastsideVillage, PDX resources.