Ask longtime Rappahannock County resident and community activist Hal Hunter what he’s been up to lately and he’ll be quick to tell you: Rapp at Home. It’s a new county-wide senior support program he is organizing to help area seniors share resources so they can remain in their homes as they grow older.
You can learn all about Rapp at Home at a public meeting — hosted by Hunter — from 2 to 4 p.m. next Thursday, April 30 at Reynolds Memorial Baptist Church (3948 Sperryville Pike) in Sperryville. (Transportation to the meeting will be provided for those requiring it. Call 540-937 4663 if you need a ride or can offer one for someone else.)
Hunter says the idea for Rapp at Home came to him after he learned about the widely respected Village to Village Network of community-based programs operated by and for seniors. The network supports 140 programs in 40 states, including several in the Washington, D.C. area.
“These programs are membership-driven, grassroots organizations, run by volunteers and paid staff,” says Hunter. “They coordinate access for senior citizens to affordable services, such as transportation, programs to increase health and wellness, home repairs, social and educational activities, and travel experiences.”
At the April 30 meeting, representatives from two Washington-area Village programs will share their insights and experiences about the value of these programs in supporting their members. Mary Procter, board chair of the Capitol Hill Village program from 2008 to 2012, has been active in its success since its founding. Miriam Kelty, president of the Washington Area Village Network (WAVE) also heads the Bannockburn Neighbors Helping Neighbors Program in Bethesda, Md.
Rapp at Home has the assistance of many local community groups, including the newly formed Rappahannock Clergy Association, Aging Together, Rappahannock Senior Center, 4-H, Rappahannock-Rapidan Regional Commission, Rappahannock Social Services, Rappahannock Food Pantry, the Benevolent fund and others. “But we also need the support and input from individual members of the Rappahannock community,” says Hunter. “So you all come [on April 30] and tell us what you want this program to do for you.”