Photo: First Sarasota Village virtual meeting
Photo: First Sarasota Village virtual meeting
UPLIFT Florida Network

May 2020 – May 2023

UPLIFT Florida Network

The Purpose

Connecting with the people, activities, and resources that enrich our lives is essential to maintaining our health and well-being as we age – and we are all aging. UPLIFT Florida Network is a hub organization created to connect people, organizations, and communities in Florida so we can all thrive in community. UPLIFT’s purpose is two-fold: to improve the well-being of our community members via a network of organizations supporting individuals thriving in the community and to support the development and impact of villages.

Villages are community-based organizations characterized by neighbors helping neighbors—connecting for fun, freedom, caring, sharing, support, and confidence. Villages are communities of belonging and connectivity. They offer a wide array of services powered by volunteers and a network that helps adults live vibrant, purposeful lives. UPLIFT is a member of the Village to Village Network, a community of more than 300 villages nationwide.

Strengthening the Impact

For more than a decade, The Patterson Foundation has optimized opportunities to help people maintain their well-being as they age. The Patterson Foundation strengthened this effort by investing in consulting support to provide facilitation and strategic guidance for the creation and operation of UPLIFT Florida Network and its villages.
uplift florida network logo


Click on frequently asked questions below to learn more about this initiative...

Why did The Patterson Foundation support the UPLIFT Florida Network concept and the village movement in Florida?

The Patterson Foundation (TPF) strengthens the efforts of people, organizations, and communities by focusing on issues that address common aspirations and foster wide participation. TPF capitalized on its experience and work in healthy aging to incubate national and global longevity movements in its home region to localize and inform their efforts simultaneously.

To support UPLIFT’s development, TPF provided an initiative consultant who acted as a facilitator with skills in collaborative processes and provided strategic and tactical expertise. Through UPLIFT, TPF encouraged government, businesses, organizations, and people to create communities in which people can live and age well.

Will UPLIFT Florida Network continue its work?

With incubation support from TPF from 2020 to 2023, UPLIFT has established a vibrant entity and positioned it to grow and flourish. In early 2023, The Patterson Foundation phased out its engagement with UPLIFT. UPLIFT’s important work continues under the leadership of its Board of Directors.

The Patterson Foundation will continue focusing on realizing the aspirations of a community where people can live well at any age through evolving projects and initiatives.

What has been the impact of TPF’s support of UPLIFT Florida Network?

In 2020, with Deborah Gauvreau as the driving force, The Patterson Foundation seeded the creation of what a group of committed volunteers wanted – a village in Sarasota. Three years later, TPF's engagement with UPLIFT ended, but UPLIFT's important work continues under the leadership of its Board of Directors.

UPLIFT's first-ever impact report – UPLIFT Florida Network: The Journey to Date 2020–2023 (Short version here), generously underwritten by TPF, narrates the past three years' findings, learnings, and reflections.

A 10-part mini docuseries was also produced to share UPLIFT's journey. You can glimpse experiences from UPLIFT's leadership team as they narrate the journey here.

What is a Village?

A village is a community-based network of members and aligned organizations engaged in supporting aging interdependently and maintaining the well-being of its members. Most villages are grassroots, self-governing membership organizations that promote neighbor-to-neighbor support and community connectivity, enhance interdependence and healthy living, and are run by volunteers or paid staff.

Villages form key partnerships, provide resources and referrals, and are important resources for strengthening their communities. Members engage in projects to improve their communities through volunteering, advocating, and creating solutions to community issues.

In the U.S., approximately 300 local villages are working to connect members to a wide range of practical support services and promote active living with recreational, social, educational, and cultural programs, as illustrated below.


village offerings

What is UPLIFT Florida Network?

The UPLIFT Florida Network is a nonprofit hub organization supporting community-based villages and other like-minded organizations. Learning from the successes and challenges of existing villages, the UPLIFT Florida Network recognizes that the village of the future may be described as:
  • Community-oriented organizations strengthen the health and well-being of their members
  • Focused on building strong strategic partnerships
  • Virtually connected internally and to a curated array of resources
  • Innovative, financially sustainable with diverse funding sources
  • Oriented toward social engagement, health, and wellness services
  • Supportive of multigenerational connections and interdependence
  • Fulfilling people’s desire for belonging, self-determination, and community connectedness
  • Exemplify neighbors helping neighbors

Why did Suncoast Villages change its name to UPLIFT Florida Network, Inc.?

After intense brainstorming, review, and more brainstorming, UPLIFT Florida Network was selected as Suncoast Villages’ new name. Originally intended to serve the Suncoast region, interest came from other areas of Florida, and the need for a coordinating organization for Florida’s emerging village movement became clear.

UPLIFT Florida Network is uniquely positioned to fill this need. The first organization to align itself with UPLIFT was the Neighbors Network in Lee County. Several other villages and village startups in Florida have also expressed interest in participating with UPLIFT.

The purpose of UPLIFT Florida Network remains the same: to improve the well-being of community members via a network of organizations supporting individuals thriving in community. The values of UPLIFT Florida Network are connection, collaboration, innovation, inclusion, and excellence.

Who is working on villages in Florida?

Local groups are working on the startup and operation of villages around Florida. Since January 2022, UPLIFT has engaged in a process to start active village development. The Patterson Foundation strengthened UPLIFT’s early efforts by investing in consulting support to provide facilitation and strategic guidance.

The National Village to Village Network supports UPLIFT and emerging villages with mentors. Villages are collaborations of dedicated individuals contributing their time, resources, and expertise to evolve concepts that meet community members' needs and aspirations.

Is UPLIFT Florida Network like the “The Villages” community in Florida?

UPLIFT Florida Network is a network of people, organizations, and communities in Florida. A village is a community-based organization not dependent upon location or physical structures.

“The Villages” is a census-designated master-planned age-restricted community in Sumter County, Florida, that spreads into portions of Lake and Marion counties.

How has the village movement been involved in WHO Age-Friendly Initiatives?

Several villages have influenced the initiation and success of World Health Organization Age-Friendly initiatives in their communities. In Sarasota County, UPLIFT Florida Network is aligned with Age-Friendly Sarasota through Sue Berger, the Sarasota County Aging System Policy Coordinator.

How can I learn more and get involved in UPLIFT Florida Network?

For more information or to get involved, visit the UPLIFT Florida Network website or email

Who can I contact about UPLIFT Florida Network?

Please send inquiries to

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