Atul Gawande’s book Being Mortal was the catalyst for the creation of Northampton Neighbors. After reading his book, two separate groups began to explore the possibility of creating a village like the ones Gawande discussed. In February 2016 the two groups joined forces. Organizing efforts then took off.
As a first step, Northampton Neighbors joined the Village to Village Network and talked to many other villages around the country, who kindly shared their expertise and experiences. Wellesley Neighbors generously agreed to serve as a mentor village and continues to provide helpful answers to many questions. One member attended a meeting of all Massachusetts villages in June 2016 and came home with many additional useful resources.
In the past year Northampton Neighbors has registered as a nonprofit corporation, formed a Board of Directors, developed a mission statement and bylaws, created a logo and brochure, and set up a website. We have now received 501(c)(3) (non-profit) status, and plan to add new Board members, form relationships with strategic partners, seek grant opportunities, and establish programs. In 2017 we will be launching a plan to introduce Northampton Neighbors to the community.