History of Peninsula Volunteers


In July, 1947, a group of forward-thinking women founded Peninsula Volunteers, Inc., headed up by Beth Kuechler, with a purpose:  to be charitable and foster community welfare. Towards that end the original group of 30 women set about to acquire funds and create programs.  Their first project was the Stanford Day Care Nursery, with the cooperation of Stanford University. The nursery exists to this day under the care of Stanford.  They also founded scholarships for deserving students.  The scholarship programs expanded to different schools and continued until 1981.  Slowly, the PVs expanded and added more members, first limiting themselves to 175 members.  Today the Peninsula Volunteers have 300 members including Actives, Sustainers, Friends, Non-Residents and Provisionals.


Significant Firsts

In 1949, PVI established Little House Senior Center in Menlo Park – the first suburban senior center in the United States – with 7 members in what was indeed a little house.  The center moved to its present home in Nealon Park in 1954 and was the first senior activity center in the US to have a building specifically designed for the over-50 age group.  Now known as Little House, The Roslyn G. Morris Activity Center, it continues to foster community spirit and socialization.

Learn More About Little House

In 1960, the City of Menlo Park granted PVI’s petition for the rezoning of land at 817 Partridge Avenue for retirement living units – the first such zoning in America.  The Housing and Home Finance Agency (HHFA; predecessor to HUD) then granted a loan of $280,000 for construction of 30 apartments known as Partridge-Kennedy.  This was the second such loan made by HHFA but the first new construction under such a loan. Partridge-Kennedy was followed in 1981 with the building of Crane Place, 93 additional units of affordable senior housing conveniently located near downtown Menlo Park and again supported by a HUD loan and the creation of Peninsula Volunteer Properties to manage both units efficiently and with the needs of seniors in mind. Today Peninsula Volunteer Properties (PVP) provides 58% of the affordable senior housing in Menlo Park.


“Your leadership in sponsoring retirement housing is an example for all the nation.
The start you have made will soon be followed by similar projects like yours.”

President John F. Kennedy, 1961

Learn More About our Affordable Senior Housing & Eligibility

In 1977, Peninsula Volunteers initiated delivery of Meals on Wheels to qualifying Mid-Peninsula seniors under the aegis of the Older Americans Act of 1965.  Our service area has expanded significantly over the years and today we serve over 3,000 meals a week in cities throughout San Mateo County.  Continuing cutbacks in governmental support have increased the need for PVI fund raising to cover funding shortfalls in this program.

Learn More About Meals on Wheels & Eligibility

Since 1977, Rosener House has been providing respite and peace of mind to families of older adults with memory impairment and other limitations, while allowing their loved ones to remain in their homes. Originally located in a small house on Amherst Avenue in Menlo Park, Rosener House moved in 1980 to the former Fremont School.  Twenty years – and a major earthquake later – the City of Menlo Park gave Peninsula Volunteers the go-ahead to plan for a new facility on the same site.  The current Rosener House, licensed by the State of California, opened in 2001 following a major capital campaign to build the first state-of-the art, purpose-built licensed day services facility in Menlo Park.

Learn More About Rosener House Adult Day Services & How They Help Caregivers and Their Loved Ones

Our Core Values

  • Compassion
    • We treat everyone with warmth, empathy, sensitivity, and heartfelt sincerity.
  • Respect
    • We treat everyone equally with dignity and kindness and recognize individual differences and professional boundaries.
  • Trust
    • We have faith in our teammates and depend upon each other with confidence that we will all act with integrity. 
  • Dedication
    • We align our emotions, our skills, and our actions to create the best outcomes for our clients and our teammates.
  • Commitment
    • We are devoted to PVI’s goals, for the betterment of our clients, the development of our teammates, and our growing organization.

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