The Foster Grandparent Program is a senior mentorship program that places adults +55 into educational settings to help support children with their social and educational development. We sat down with current Foster Grandparent Volunteer, Colleen M., to discuss why she has volunteered with the program for over 10 years.
Interviewer: What motivated you to volunteer with the Foster Grandparent Program?
It was all by chance. Over ten years ago, I had just moved into my housing development and came across a flier posted in a commons area. I have always appreciated the playfulness of children and wanted to make a difference.
Interviewer: Why do you like to volunteer with children?
It has been my calling. It is a part of who I am, where my heart is, and has always been a perfect match.
Interviewer: What would you tell someone who may be unsure about volunteering with children?
It is definitely worth trying. The Foster Grandparent Program works with many educational settings and the hours are very flexible. You are not “locked in” and it’s worth taking a chance to see if you like it.
Interviewer: How do you feel you have created a difference in a child’s life?
Just by volunteering. The way that the children come to me, or look for me. Always smiling and waving to me. I bring security to the kids, and they trust me. Warmth, security, safety, love, and I’m a playmate. It’s a warm feeling, a second family.
Interviewer: Beyond volunteering, has the Foster Grandparent Program supported you in another way?
Yes, it is a great avenue for social engagement. The program hosts events for the volunteers that are very meaningful. They provide educational workshops and trainings that are very engaging. It is where I enjoy to be. The program has imprinted on my life.