Donate Now
Add me to your mailing list

Frequently Asked Questions



Q: How has COVID-19 affected St. James NEST?

A: In the Spring of 2020, St. James NEST was poised to begin providing services to St. James residents. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, our official launch date was put on hold and we had to re-evaluate the services we could offer. In September 2020, we began a pilot membership program, with the appropriate CDC protocols in place, to safely provide services and in January 2021, we opened membership up to all St. James residents. We continue to follow all CDC protocols, as well as state requirements related to the pandemic.

Q: What is the Village concept that St. James NEST was based on?

A:  In 1999, a group of residents in Boston got together to look beyond conventional ideas about aging.  They knew they would need help as they aged, but wanted to continue to enjoy the life they knew, surrounded by friends and familiar places. So they formed Beacon Hill Village, founded on the idea that seniors could "take care of each other, rather than being taken care of."  Villages around the country are changing the way people choose to age. Since then, nearly 300 Villages have been created in 45 states and five countries ... changing the way we choose to age.


Q: So what is St. James NEST and how will it help me?

A: St. James NEST is an all-volunteer organization made up of people who live in St. James -- your neighbors.  We provide trained, screened volunteers to help our Members with the types of tasks a good neighbor would provide.  For a complete list of the services we provide, click here. And if you don't see what you're looking for, contact us and we'll try to find a Volunteer who can help.


Q: Does it cost anything to become a Member?

A: Yes.  St. James NEST has an Individual membership (a residence with one person) or a Household membership (a residence with two or more people). An Individual membership is $120 per year and a Household membership is $150 per year. The term of membership is 12 months from the date your membership fee is accepted.


Q: What do the membership fees pay for? 

A: Your membership fees pay for the organization’s insurance, printing for training materials, membership in the national Village to Village Network, background checks for Volunteers, phone and software costs, among other essential expenses.


Q:  How did you come up with the Individual and Household Membership fees?

A:  Our membership fees cover the cost of our business and liability insurance, background checks for all Volunteers who have contact with our members, software, telephone, national affiliate membership, printing and publicity.

A lot of thought and research went into our membership fees.  Like us, many national membership organizations charge a greater amount for the first or "primary" member and a reduced fee for additional family members.  This tiered structure recognizes that there is a "fixed overhead" for providing a service to an individual while at the same time providing an incentive for additional family members to also become members.  



Q: Are membership fees tax deductible?

A: St. James NEST is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization and donations to our organization are tax deductible. Membership fees, however, are not tax deductible, because you will be receiving services in exchange for your Membership fee.


Q: Are there some services that St. James NEST won’t provide its Members?

A: St. James NEST will not provide such services as: legal, financial, medical, contractor assistance or recommendations; activities of daily living; housekeeping or yard maintenance; and pet sitting/walking.


Q: How do I become a Member of St. James NEST?

A: Becoming a Member of St. James NEST is easy. On the Members tab at the top of this page above, click on the Member Application drop down to get to our online application form. Or click here to fill out the application form. We will then call you to schedule a home visit with a St. James NEST Member Liaison who will answer your questions and review the St. James NEST benefits, guidelines and Membership requirements.


Q: How do Members request a service?

A: It's easy to request a service.  You can simply make a Service Request from this website (under the Members tab). If that is not possible, you may call our Help Desk at 910-250-8388, between the hours of 9 am to 1 pm, Monday through Friday.  St. James NEST’s Member services are available 9 am - 5 pm, Monday through Friday. You may also email us at for additional information, or to be contacted by a St. James NEST Member representative.


Q: What is your transportation service area for driving Members to appointments, grocery shopping, etc.?

A: Our transportation service area, for St. James NEST is:  To the North, the intersection of US 17 and US 74/76; to the West, the intersection of US 17 and NC 130 in Shallotte; to the East, the Cape Fear River; and to the South, the Atlantic Ocean. Click here for a map of our service area.


Q: If requested, will your Volunteers be able to drive outside of the official service area?

A: Yes, but requests for driving outside of the official service area will incur a mileage surcharge. Transportation to the Wilmington area for medical appointments (only) will incur a $15 surcharge. Requests for transportation to other areas outside of our service area will be considered on a case by case basis, depending on Volunteer availability.


Q:  Will you transport to the Raleigh/Durham, Myrtle Beach or Wilmington Airports?

A:  No. There are people within St. James already providing that service as their profession.


Q:  Do you provide financial assistance such as tax preparation or financial advice?

A:  No.


Q: How do you handle Membership renewals?

A: When the anniversary date of your Membership comes up, you will receive an invoice via email to renew your Membership dues. You will have 30 days before your Membership expires.


Q:  Where did the name St. James NEST come from?

Our organization's purpose is to facilitate  "NEighbors Helping ST. James Neighbors."  We also felt that a NEST evoked the thought of home, a place of comfort and safety.


Q: Who are the St. James NEST Volunteers?

A: All of our Volunteers are men and women who live in St. James and are committed to making life a little easier and a little better for our Members.  


Q: Do I have to be a Member to volunteer?

A: You do not have to become a Member of St. James NEST to join our team of Volunteers.


Q: What's involved in being a Volunteer?

A: As a Volunteer, you control the types of services you want to offer, and the amount of time you can afford to provide.  You can apply to become a Volunteer here. Once you fill out the Volunteer application form, you will be invited to attend a general orientation and team training meeting. After your background check has been completed, you will become a St. James NEST Volunteer.


Q:  Do St. James NEST Volunteers have medical training?

A: Our Volunteers are not equipped to handle Members' medical needs. Therefore, if you need assistance with taking medication or dressing wounds, you should contact a qualified medical professional.


Q: What if I have an emergency?

A: In any emergency, call 911. St. James NEST Volunteers are not equipped to deal with emergencies or urgent medical needs. 


Q: Have background checks been performed on the Volunteers who will help me?

A:  Yes.  All Volunteers that work directly with Members have had background checks performed by Sterling Volunteers.


Q: What's involved in a Volunteer's background check?

A: Your privacy is important to us. Therefore, we have employed an outside firm called Sterling Volunteers to perform the background checks on Volunteers.  It is a nationally accredited volunteer screening agency headquartered in Fort Collins, Colorado. This is the same agency used by local chapters of the 4H, Big Brother/Big Sisters and the Girls Scouts to vet their volunteers.


Q: Are Volunteers and Members insured?

A: We require all of our Members and Volunteers to carry homeowners or renters insurance. All Volunteer drivers are also required to have auto insurance.


Q: Does St. James NEST have any employees?

A: No. St. James NEST is run by an all-volunteer staff.