National Service Agency Anounces $3 Million In Grants For 80 Senior Corps Groups
The Corporation for National and Community Service has announced grants totaling more than $3 million to help 80 Senior Corps programs expand their volunteer forces. The grants will support more than 2,500 new volunteers in 37 states serving in the RSVP, Foster Grandparent and Senior Companion programs.
Volunteers will carry out a wide range of projects, including caring for the frail elderly, tutoring and mentoring children with special needs, conducting safety patrols, helping communities prepare for disasters, and mentoring children of incarcerated parents. More than 250 organizations applied for the Programs of National Significance grants, which were evaluated by Corporation staff and outside reviewers.
Senior Corps engages more than half a million Americans age 55 and over to meet community needs in education, the environment, public safety, homeland security, and other areas.
Examples of the grants include:
* The RSVP Program at Central Alabama Community College received a $15,000 grant to support volunteers to help the college expand its disaster preparedness activities into an additional county. The new volunteers will assist the Emergency Management Agency to create a local Citizen Corps Council, provide public education on disaster preparedness, and identify vulnerable community members for inclusion in a database to ensure their needs are taken into account in the event of an emergency.
* With its $46,000 grant, the YMCA of Grays Harbor, Washington, will support additional Senior Companions to serve with Senior Services for Sound South and Puget Sound Health Care. They will provide respite care, access to services, and personal care for chronically ill adults in a currently unserved area, Thurston County. Approximately 35 to 50 clients will be served through a comprehensive network of support.
* Catholic Charities of San Diego is receiving a $36,000 grant to engage additional Foster Grandparents to provide mentoring, tutoring, and nurturing support for 200 youth who are juvenile offenders or in foster care, with emphasis on youth who have parents in prison or an intergenerational history with the criminal justice system.
Senior Corps consists of three programs: RSVP, Foster Grandparents, and Senior Companions. RSVP engages people 55 and over in organizing neighborhood watches, tutoring children, renovating homes, assisting victims of natural disasters, and other projects.
The Foster Grandparent Program is for people 60 and over, whose incomes are limited, to serve as extended family members to children and youth with exceptional needs. The Senior Companion Program, also for people 60 and over whose incomes are limited, provides assistance and friendship to adults who have difficulty with daily living tasks. RSVP volunteers may receive reimbursement for meals and transportation, while Foster Grandparents and Senior Companions receive a modest stipend for 20 hours of service per week.
Senior Corps is administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service, which also oversees AmeriCorps and Learn and Serve America. Together, the programs of the Corporation engage more than two million Americans each year in meeting critical needs in education, the environment, public safety, homeland security, and other areas.