12/27/12 — Foster Grandparents, Senior Companions needed

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Foster Grandparents, Senior Companions needed

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on December 27, 2012 1:46 PM

Volunteers are needed to serve as Foster Grandparents and Senior Companions, says Delbra McIntyre, administrator of the two programs sponsored through WAGES, or Wayne Action Groups for Economic Solvency.

"For both programs, recruiting is constant for us," she said. "We're always looking for seniors who want to give back to their community."

Retirees and senior citizens are the staple of the two programs which serve the youngest and oldest populations in the county, Ms. McIntyre said.

WAGES has sponsored the Foster Grandparents program for 40 years.

Volunteers serve as role models and mentors to work with special needs children at 18 sites around the county. They are currently located in elementary schools, day care centers and Head Start Centers.

Senior Companions work with senior citizens, allowing them to continue living in their own homes by providing assistance with daily tasks and respite services for caregivers.

A commitment of at least 20 hours a week is requested, Ms. McIntyre said.

Other criteria for applicants include an income requirement, set at 200 percent of the poverty guidelines, she added, but doesn't want that to discourage anyone from seeking more information.

"There's a child or a senior just waiting for them," she said. "The program actually also gives back to the volunteer because they become attached to the clients (in Senior Companions), and Foster Grandparents to the children.

"It's very rewarding to them."

Interviews and a class for new volunteers will begin soon, Ms. McIntyre said.

For more information, call 919-734-1178, ext. 202.