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Village News

December 2020

Join Our Online Holiday Celebration

Sunday, December 13 — 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Join Village Without Walls members and volunteers for a time of celebration and sharing with music, conversation, stories, and more. We cannot share holiday cookies and punch this year, but we can supply some fun!

Wear whatever you like (ugly sweater anyone?). Come with a holiday memory to tell us about. Do you have a special holiday recipe to share? What was your best or worst gift?

There will be music and funny videos. Please bring your jokes to tell.

Join the fun at 2:00 PM on Sunday, December 13 by clicking or you can call 253-215-8782 (audio only).

Please Shop Local This Year

Many of our local businesses have set up online shopping and/or curb-side pickup. Please help local businesses stay open so they will still be there when the pandemic ends.

Giving Through Your IRA to Support Village Without Walls

Many of you received our fundraising appeal letter recently. If you have already made your donation to Village Without Walls, thank you!

If you are still thinking about it, one option is to make a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) from your IRA. Although there is no required minimum distribution from your IRA this year, you can always make a QCD without incurring any tax liability.

As you are making your year-end gifts, please consider a donation to Village Without Walls to help lay the foundation for long-term sustainability through philanthropy. In most villages across the country, membership fees account for only 44% of the budget.

Currently our Village can cover all expenses with membership revenue alone. As we grow, we want to expand support for our low-income neighbors. Later we may need to add a part-time staffer to support volunteers and members. To do this we will need to supplement member fees with donations.

You choose the amount to donate from your IRA and ask your financial manager to make the gift for you. To be counted for the 2020 tax year, distributions must be transferred to the charity by December 31. Checks should be made out to “Villages NW fbo Village Without Walls” and mailed to 1333 NE Orenco Station Pkwy #572, Hillsboro OR 97124.

Questions? Email Villages NW at or call 503-515-1948.

“Be a Santa to a Senior” Goes Virtual This Year

Be a Santa to a Senior program graphic

Home Instead Senior Care® is an organization that partners with local nonprofit and community organizations to identify seniors who might not otherwise receive gifts during the holiday season.

This year, rather than setting up a physical tree with tags to select from, Home Instead Senior Care is partnering with Amazon Business to provide a virtual gift matching service for local seniors. Each senior has a bulb displayed on the Virtual Tree. Click on a senior’s bulb to open their wish list, then purchase the gift you choose from

To participate, visit and follow the directions.

Advice From the AARP Fraud Watch Network on How to Spot Holiday Shopping Scams

As we enter the holiday season with the pandemic still in our midst, many of us will rely on online shopping for this year’s gift buying. Here is how to spot and avoid online shopping scams.

Here's how some common scams work:

  • Scammers set up fake websites or smartphone apps, often made to look just like a trusted retailer.
  • Some bogus websites are made to look like a legitimate, if unfamiliar, shopping destination.
  • Scammers lure shoppers with emails, text messages, and ads on social media.
  • They offer hot items at a fraction of the usual cost and may throw in free shipping and overnight delivery.

What you should know:

  • Some of the sham sites do deliver merchandise, but typically a knockoff brand, while others do not bother sending anything at all.
  • Bargain-basement prices on popular gift items should make you suspicious if the discount is greater than 55 percent.
  • Legitimate retailers have meticulous websites—look for spelling errors, bad grammar, or a lack of contact information, which may indicate the site is a fake.

Ways to protect yourself from online scams:

  • Do not click on links you think may be suspicious! Open your web browser and type in the web address yourself. This eliminates the possibility that you may inadvertently add malware to your device, which scammers can use to steal your personal information.
  • Use a credit card instead of a debit card when making online purchases. Credit cards give you more protections if fraud occurs.
  • Make sure you keep your operating system and anti-virus software up to date.

Upcoming VWW and VNW Events

We hope you'll join us for these upcoming events!

Virtual Village Happy Hour
Every Friday at 4:00 PM

Come share stories, jokes, and make new friends. Everyone is welcome.

Join the Zoom meeting at or call 253-215-8782 (audio only).

History and Current Events Book Group
Friday, December 11 — 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM

Discuss what you have read in books and magazine articles. This month’s topic is "Pre-Civil War Conditions in the North and South."

Join the Zoom meeting at

Rivers East Village Presents:
Managing Personal Documents and Records

Tuesday, December 15 — 10:00 to 11:00 AM

Do you have a hard time finding documents when you need them? Are you buried in paper and unsure about where to begin? This presentation will provide a simple 5-step system to organize and purge all the paper. A free 4-page handout is available by email on request.

Register for Zoom info at

Sweet Bean: River West Kanopy Movie Discussion Group
Thursday, December 17 — 10:00 AM

A pancake stall manager finds himself confronting an odd but sympathetic elderly woman looking for work. A taste of her homemade jelly convinces him to hire her, which starts a relationship that is about much more than just street food. This film is a warm fuzzy that looks at isolation, ageism, and ignorance.

You can watch whenever you choose via Kanopy, which is a free streaming service offered through Washington County Libraries. Local libraries also have the DVD and the novel the movie is based on (Sweet Bean Paste).

To sign up for Kanopy, visit the Washington County Library website and choose "Digital Library" from the toolbar at the top. Then select "Kanopy" and follow the directions.

Contact River West Village at 971-266-3187 or for the Zoom link.

Online Age Café
Friday, December 18 — 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Join small group conversations exploring topics of interest to older adults. New thought-provoking topics are discussed each session. Sponsored by Viva Village, Beaverton City Library, and Washington County Disability, Aging, and Veteran's Services.

Email or call 503-746-5082 to RSVP and receive the Zoom link.

For more Village and community events, check out our monthly activity calendar on the Community Connections page of our website. 

Aging With Grace Recordings Available

Viva Village has provided recordings of their previous Aging With Grace series. These recordings are available on their website, under the "Resources" tab.

Meet Village Volunteer Jennifer Hanson

Jennifer started volunteering with Village Without Walls when it was in the planning stage. She heard about the Village movement in a magazine article and contacted the Village to Village Network. Jennifer came on board to help develop the VWW website.

She was born in Salem, Oregon. Her family moved to Portland when she was three years old. They later relocated to Tigard, where Jennifer attended Tigard High School. She taught Spanish and English at Central Catholic High School and worked for a while in banking while going back to school to upgrade her teaching credentials.

Jennifer later built a house in Aloha, where she taught Spanish and French at Mountain View Middle School for ten years and at St. Anthony School for one year. She also taught Spanish for PCC Community Education in Hillsboro for five years. She earned her real estate license and worked at a corporate office for 19 years. She only does referrals now.

Fictional British spy Emma Peel was Jennifer’s childhood hero. Jennifer likes studying foreign languages, genealogy, theater, and tap dancing. She is active on Facebook and hosted Halloween and Thanksgiving parties and is now hosting a Facebook Christmas party. Her household includes two cats. 

Jennifer stepped out of volunteering for VWW for a few years to take care of her mother until she passed away in September 2018. Today, Jennifer has returned to the VWW Communication, Marketing & Technology team to manage the Village’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. She is thinking about teaching Zoom sessions on crafts, technology, and languages. Before COVID, she attended VWW potlucks and did some VWW 101 presenting and helping. Her contributions to VWW are very much appreciated!

Carol of the Bells

Mykola Leontovych's Shchedryk is his most well-known piece. In its English version as a Christmas carol, it is known as the holiday favorite Carol of the Bells. The most popular English adaptation was composed in 1936 by Peter J. Wilhousky.

The song has been used many times in the soundtracks for films and television. For example, it was used in box office hits The Santa Clause and Home Alone, as well as Will Vinton's award-winning A Claymation Christmas Celebration.

Video of the Month: The Last Doll Lady

In the 1950s, a program called "Dolls for Democracy" was started. Women known as "doll ladies" would travel to local schools and teach children about why racism and intolerance is wrong using hand-carved wooden character dolls.

Over the decades the program has faded into obscurity—but one woman has made it her life's mission to reignite a nation's passion for the program's hopeful message. Selma Bukstein was one of the original doll ladies. Today, more than 60 years later, she is 93 and still passionate about anti-racism education.

The Last Doll Lady follows Selma's efforts to revitalize the program and pass on its legacy to a new generation.

Are you or is someone you know experiencing isolation or loneliness?

Isolation and loneliness can be dangerous for seniors anytime, but right now the stakes are higher than ever. The Oregon Senior Peer Outreach Line (1-833-736-4676; se habla español) and the Oregon Senior Loneliness Line (503-200-1633) are available at any time for older adults experiencing loneliness and isolation. 

That's it for now. Stay home, stay healthy!

And don't forget: send your favorite videos, classes, articles, and practical tips to us at

Village Facebook Page
Village Website
Village Without Walls
1333 NE Orenco Station Pkwy., #572
Hillsboro 97124

Village Without Walls is a member of the Villages NW nonprofit Hub & Spoke Network.

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