Volunteers from Catholic Charities Foster Grandparent Program gathered at the Pizza Ranch Tuesday, Dec. 18, to recognize volunteers’ efforts and celebrate their years of service to the program.
Thirty-five Foster Grandparents from St. Cloud, Sartell, Sauk Rapids, Paynesville, Avon, Waite Park, and Rice along with area educators and Catholic Charities staff were treated to a very enjoyable meal. Foster Grandparent Director Stacy Lund and Area Supervisor Sara Heurung led the annual program and acknowledged Foster Grandparents with one-, 10-, and 20-year volunteering milestones. Penny Lundblad (Oak Ridge Elementary), Kathleen Brown (Mississippi Heights), and Steve Lovold (Kennedy Elementary) were recognized for one year of service. Agnes Steichen (Discovery Community School) and Judy Groth (Pine Meadow Elementary) were recognized for 10 years of service. MaryLou Omann (Sauk Rapids ABE) was recognized for 20 years of service and her retirement!
This year marks the 53rd anniversary of the Foster Grandparent Program and the belief that inspired its start in 1965 could not be truer today. Namely, that seniors have extraordinary gifts and talents to share with children who need extra support.
The Foster Grandparent Program offers seniors 55+, the opportunity to work with students in local schools or other non-profit agencies where there are children who need extra help to succeed. The program offers many benefits to volunteers, including a tax-free hourly stipend, transportation reimbursement for mileage, orientation, on-going training, health benefits and more. The joy of helping children and getting frequent hugs seem to be among the “most mentioned” benefits! For more information, or to apply to be a Foster Grandparent, contact Sara Heurung at (320) 229-4589, or firstname.lastname@example.org.