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

May 2020 – Present

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, Inc. 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 is strengthening 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

FAQ's

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

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

The Patterson Foundation strengthens the efforts of people, organizations, and communities by focusing on issues that address common aspirations and foster wide participation. Through UPLIFT, The Patterson Foundation encourages government, businesses, organizations, and people to create communities in which people can live and age well.

What is a Village?

A village is a community-based network of members and aligned organizations engaged to support aging interdependently and maintain 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 an important resource 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 already exist doing the work 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 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 strengthening the health and well-being of its 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

What kind of organization is UPLIFT Florida Network?

Formerly known as Suncoast Villages, UPLIFT Florida Network, Inc. (UPLIFT) is a Florida nonprofit corporation. UPLIFT is currently awaiting approval from the IRS as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit entity.

The organizational model below illustrates how the Board of Directors, Village Governing Councils, the Circle of Representatives, and Affinity Teams will be organized. Each village in this model will have a Governing Council, members, and volunteers.

individual villages

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

After an intense process of 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 is 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 our 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. UPLIFT is engaging in a process to start active village development beginning in January 2022. The Patterson Foundation is strengthening these 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.

What is UPLIFT’s CallConnect program?

CallConnect is a program designed to provide social connections among community members who enjoy regular friendly social calls. Social connections help people live well and thrive, whereas social isolation can have devastating health effects. CallConnect has been made possible by a strategic partnership with the Motion Picture and Television Fund via Determined Health using their CallHub software and services to facilitate safe telephone connections. The program’s goal is to improve health and well-being while building meaningful community connections. UPLIFT is grateful for The Patterson Foundation’s support of CallConnect’s launch.

How is UPLIFT’s CallConnect being developed?

UPLIFT’s CallConnect program provides social connections and service referrals for those who need social support and meaningful engagement to live well and thrive. In July 2021, UPLIFT launched several CallConnect pilots to serve as small-scale implementations to prove the viability of CallConnect and identify strengths, weaknesses, and challenges to address before a soft launch of CallConnect.

UPLIFT will initiate a soft launch in early 2022 to test the program beyond the initial pilot sites while generating and implementing lessons learned to apply before the official launch. Then, guided by the lessons learned during the CallConnect pilots and soft launch, UPLIFT will launch the CallConnect program in the later part of 2022.

How can I become an UPLIFT CallConnect connector?

voluteer

Anyone can apply to become a CallConnect connector. To learn more or get involved, email CallConnect’s Program Administrator, Sue Berger, at SBerger@scgov.net.

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 City 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 request and receive a presentation about UPLIFT Florida Network and how to start a village in my area?

For an engaging presentation about UPLIFT Florida Network, its programs and villages, please fill out the Speaker Request Form electronically here.

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

For more information or to get involved, contact UPLIFT Formation Body’s chairperson Emile Gauvreau: revgauvreau@protonmail.com.


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