Catholic Charities hosts foster grandparent program appreciation event

by STEPHANIE BROWN
Thu, May 28th 2015 01:00 pm
Catholic Charities
Susan Seawood, Catholic Charities Foster Grandparent Program leader, outlines the impact that therapy animals have on stress reduction to more than 70 foster grandparent volunteers during the `50 and Feeling Fabulous` recognition event May 22. (Courtesy of Catholic Charities)
Susan Seawood, Catholic Charities Foster Grandparent Program leader, outlines the impact that therapy animals have on stress reduction to more than 70 foster grandparent volunteers during the "50 and Feeling Fabulous" recognition event May 22. (Courtesy of Catholic Charities)

BUFFALO - In celebration of the 50th anniversary of its Foster Grandparent Program in conjunction with Senior Corps Week May 18-23, Catholic Charities hosted a "50 and Feeling Fabulous" recognition event today at the Lt. Col. Matt Urban Human Services Center of WNY, 1081 Broadway, Buffalo.

Senior Corps Week, developed by the Corporation for National and Community Service, spotlights the impact of Senior Corps volunteers on their communities. Catholic Charities Foster Grandparent Program is a program of Service Corps, which is funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service.

During the event, Foster Grandparents were treated to breakfast, as well as ways to decrease stress, including a stress reduction workshop, aromatherapy, chair massages and visits by therapy animals. Volunteers also presented hygiene items they collected for the Lt. Col. Matt Urban Essentials Pantry, which serves the needs of homeless individuals in Buffalo, as part of the Senior Corps Donation Drive.

Catholic Charities is currently seeking individuals who are ages 55 and above, reside in Erie County and are income eligible to consider serving as Foster Grandparents. Catholic Charities is especially seeking residents of Buffalo's south and west sides. Volunteers receive an orientation and monthly trainings to equip them with the skills needed to help students. They also receive a stipend and travel reimbursement.

Foster Grandparents stay active by developing one-on-one relationships with children ages 3-18 by tutoring, mentoring, and offering caring support to special and exceptional needs children. Grandparents volunteer between 15 and 40 hours each week and draw from personal wisdom and experience to help children meet social, academic, and developmental goals under the supervision of teachers and center directors.             

For more information about volunteering for the program or hosting Foster Grandparents in an educational setting, please call (716) 896-6388 or visit ccwny.org.

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