Fearrington Cares (FC) grew out of a wish to meet the health and daily living requirements of the residents of Fearrington Village. In 1989, FC was incorporated as Stay Put for Now—well before the rise of the national Village to Village movement. In 2000, Stay Put for Now merged with a community nursing group to become the nonprofit organization FC is today.
FC is unique in that we serve the entire village community without charging a membership fee, being supported solely by donations and bequests from present and former residents. Karen Metzguer, our Executive Director and Registered Nurse, and village residents provide most of our services.
Village to Village Network
FC is a member of the nationwide Village to Village Network, which began with the formation of Beacon Hill Village in Boston in 2002. Today, the national Village movement encompasses more than 250 open villages and 150-plus other villages now being developed in 45 states and the District of Columbia. As a member of this network, we’re always informed about best practices of other villages in the network.
The Fearrington Cares Center
Our smaller, original building was constructed in 2005, thanks to a generous contribution from Fearrington Village’s developer, R.B. Fitch. Since then, the services that we provide have grown continually.
A few years ago, it became clear that our Center was too small to deliver our services efficiently or to expand them. In 2015, two ardent supporters left a substantial bequest to the organization in their wills, making it possible to plan the renovation and expansion of the building. Construction was also financed by sizable bequests and donations from current and former residents, including a generous donation from R.B. Fitch.
A building Task Force began meeting in January of 2017. In 2018 the FC Board hired Bizios Architect (now Grant Bizios Architecture) to draw up plans for a remodeled and expanded Center, and Hopper Construction was hired as the contractor for the project. Because the Fearrington Homeowners Association (FHA) leases the land on which the FC Center rests, written permission from the FHA was necessary. After a series of discussions, a new lease agreement was drawn up, permitting us to enlarge our building.
On the afternoon of August 12, 2019, the long-awaited ground-breaking ceremony took place and construction began. Less than a year later, the remodeling and expansion were completed. The original building had been expanded from 1,196 square feet to 3,108 square feet.
The new building now houses three offices, an enlarged clinic room, a conference room, and an expanded reception office. In addition, we have an enlarged foyer/reception area, a new multipurpose room, four bathrooms compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, a storage room, and a break room. There’s also a small outdoor patio and seating area accessible from the rear of the foyer.
To finance our renovation, landscape the property, and furnish the building, we initiated a building campaign separate from the annual appeal for funds for operating expenses. To secure additional funds, we held several fundraising events.
Services During the Pandemic
In March of 2020 the FC Center had to be closed to mitigate the risk of infection during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, we continued to provide information and referrals, phone consultations, equipment loans, and communication and bookkeeping services.
In the summer of 2021, FC reopened in two phases according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.