Since 1998, the Shepherd’s Center of Northern Virginia (SCNOVA), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, has been dedicated to improving the quality of life as we age through supportive programs and services, personal enrichment and volunteer engagement that enable our senior neighbors to live full and productive lives while aging in place. Our 250+ trained and vetted volunteers are medical and companion transportation drivers, friendly callers and visitors, handy helpers, health care advocates, and lifelong learning and cultural enrichment enthusiasts. This volunteer engagement network offers stability, encouragement and hope for connected and healthy lives.
We aspire to alleviate isolation and loneliness through our services and raising awareness of who we are and what we do in the community. Connecting adult children, friends, and neighbors of our seniors with our programs, services and volunteers will bring peace of mind that their loved ones have the opportunity for social interaction and engagement.
We are actively reaching out to our veteran population through our Friendly Caller/Visitors program in an effort to make veteran-to-veteran connections. This chance for engagement increases a sense of well-being and offers care and friendships to our growing client population. We are actively recruiting volunteers and clients in our service areas of: Oakton, Vienna, Reston, Herndon, Great Falls, Dunn Loring and Merrifield.
The Shepherd’s Center of Oakton-Vienna (SCOV) was founded in 1997 by a coalition of older adults from various congregations in the Oakton and Vienna communities.
John Tate, one of our founding board members, was the pastor of Oakton United Methodist Church, and there had been an expressed need from his church and surrounding churches for a ministry that would not only serve seniors but would involve them in meaningful activities that challenged them after retirement. Donna Grim, who was a member of the church and subsequently became our first Director, had an opportunity to visit a Shepherd’s Center in Kansas City and she recognized the potential of such a program to work in our area.
In November 1997 an organizational meeting to explore interest in founding a center for people ages 50 and older was attended by representatives of churches in Oakton, Vienna, and Dunn Loring. “We met a lot of enthusiasm at that meeting and were very encouraged,” Donna recalls. From that meeting, SC was created and has been successfully operating since then.
In 2019 a supporting congregation pointed out the need for free transportation services for seniors who live in Reston and Herndon neighborhoods. These areas were not served by an organization with sufficient depth and breadth of programing and services. In order to meet this need, the board voted to expand our service area into Reston and Herndon, Virginia, and change the name of the organization to the Shepherd’s Center serving Oakton-Vienna-Reston-Herndon.
In 2020 we were approached by The Shepherd’s Center of Great Falls, which sought to merge with a larger organization to achieve greater efficiencies in programs and service delivery, while continuing service to seniors in their area. In February 2021 we merged with the Shepherd’s Center of Great Falls and, to reflect our expanded geographic footprint, we changed our name to the Shepherd’s Center of Northern Virginia (SCNOVA).