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About Senior Corps 
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Hurricane Volunteer Support Fund
In the wake of the recent hurricanes, the Corporation is coordinating volunteers to assist with repair and relief efforts in areas affected by this devastating storm. Your donation will support volunteers in providing food and shelter, managing donations, helping victims get necessary assistance, and long-term rebuilding efforts.
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USA Freedom Corps Partnering to Answer the President’s Call to Service
 
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 05, 2006

CONTACT: Siobhan Dugan
Phone: 202-606-6707
Email: [email protected]

   

Senior Corps Volunteers Receive National Awards for Outstanding Service

 

The MetLife Foundation and the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging recently presented several Senior Corps volunteers with “2006 Older Volunteers Enrich America” Awards. Foster Grandparent Ora Rakestraw of Sacramento received a Gold Honoree Mentor Award in recognition of her 27 years of service. As a mentor to third-graders, she works with those who are reading at the lowest levels. Her success is marked by her students’ reading scores, which increased 10 percentile points in 2004.

In addition to Rakestraw, other Senior Corps volunteers were named as silver honorees, including:

  • RSVP volunteer Margarine Beaman of Austin, Texas, has volunteered tirelessly on behalf of the visually impaired, disadvantaged children, and the elderly. Among her most notable accomplishments was leading a project that ultimately led to the first Braille instructions for ATM machines and mall directories in the world.
      
  • Foster Grandparent Elaine Savage of Ogilvie, Minn., a retired teacher, brings her rich experience into second-grade classrooms 30 hours a week. She has developed innovative approaches to help students who are struggling, and devotes time and effort into preparing quality materials and lessons.
      
  • RSVP volunteer Judi Barbour of Penn Valley, Calif., took charge of a project focused on outreach to older adults facing the risk of becoming homebound and isolated. She recruited dozens of volunteers and works with local food banks to provide groceries for the seniors.
      
  • RSVP volunteer Nancy Gaden of Jamestown, N.Y., is known as the “Bingle Bangle Lady,” because she takes rhythm instruments to adult day care centers, nursing homes, homes for the developmentally disabled, and other locations. She accompanies the individuals on the piano, playing their favorite songs and encouraging them to shake their instruments or tap their toes to the music.
      
  • Senior Companions Moisey and Sofiya Sandler of Denver transport clients to medical appointments, grocery stores, and human service agencies. They have recruited a number of other volunteers and, as Russian immigrants and former professors at the University of Moscow, volunteered as translators during the Summit of the 8 in Denver in 1998, assisting the Russian delegation.

This is the fourth year that the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging has administered the Older Volunteers Enrich America Awards for the MetLife Foundation. Several Senior Corps members have been among the recipients each year. “People age 55 and over have tremendous skills and experience that can be put to use to strengthen their communities,” said Tess Scannell, director of Senior Corps. “We encourage anyone over age 55 to log onto www.seniorcorps.gov to find a local volunteer opportunity. It’s easier than ever to get involved, and your community and country need you.

Senior Corps, a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service, taps the experience, skills, and talents of more than a half a million older Americans to meet community needs. Foster Grandparents serve one-on-one as tutors and mentors to young people with special needs. Senior Companions help homebound seniors and other adults maintain independence in their own homes; and RSVP volunteers conduct safety patrols for local police departments, participate in environmental projects, provide intensive educational services to children and adults, and respond to national disasters, among other activities. Together with USA Freedom Corps, the Corporation for National and Community Service is working to build a culture of citizenship, service, and responsibility in America. The Corporation’s other programs include AmeriCorps and Learn and Serve America. For further information, visit www.nationalservice.gov.

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