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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 Individuals > For Current Volunteers >
 
Stories of Service

 

“Service is the rent we pay for living.”

—Marian Wright Edelman

Meet Senor Corps volunteers.


 
Senior Corps – Pernicie Welch
Simpson County RSVP – Mendenhall, MS
 

I have been a volunteer with Simpson County RSVP since June 2001, volunteering at the Old Pearl Community Center and the Copiah Living Nursing Home.

During Hurricane Katrina I lost power. Fortunately it was quickly restored and when it was I plugged the freezers of three other families into my own power. Using my gas stove I also cooked for several families; washed clothes for 21 people; went to the local fire station to pick up ice, water, and MRE meals to deliver to families; donated clothes to those who lost everything; and provided refreshments for utility workers. I also joined a group of others and put on a carnival for the community.

Despite all of I wish I could have done more.

 

 
Senior Corps – Lucy Williams
Foster Grandparent Program, Sonoma Developmental Center – Sonoma, CA
 

As a Foster Grandparent, Lucy Williams has served children with developmental disabilities for 28 years. She helps them develop skills to be as independent as possible. Her kind, loving manner has benefited many children.

After serving many years in an institutional setting, she tried a new, challenging assignment. At 80 years of age, she began to serve in a special education classroom setting in a local elementary school. Without hesitation, Lucy jumped into this new role, being warmly welcomed by the children and the teaching staff. She helps the students with reading, math, exercise and social skill development. “It’s a hard job,” Lucy declares, “but I love it.”

A letter from the teacher stated: “Our students learn at a very slow pace so it requires much patience to work with them. Lucy has that patience. Grandma Lucy provides that little extra TLC that goes a long way in the lives of these kids. She is compassionate, caring and dedicated to making a difference for some very special kids.”

As she approaches her 90th birthday, Lucy Williams continues to serve four hours a day, five days per week. Her admirers would love to clone her to benefit other children.

 

 
Senior Corps – George  Ferguson
The Grandfathers Group, Alexandria, VA
 

With a mile-wide smile, Michael would describe being with his mentor, “Grandfather” George, as “walking on air.” For the past five years, George Ferguson has been an extra-special part of Michael’s life through a unique mentoring program at The Campagna Center in Alexandria, VA, called The Grandfathers Group.

The Grandfathers Group recruits and trains African American men age 50 and older to serve as volunteer “Grandfather” mentors for African American boys, ages 6 through 12, whose fathers are absent from the home. When Michael was first matched with George, his home life had been turned upside down. A bright and inquisitive second-grader, he was beginning to show some of the effects of growing up without a reliable, positive male presence in his life. Michael’s performance in school was quickly beginning to lag behind his peers, and he voiced his fears about the world around him.

But George could see Michael’s potential – the confident young man he could become with just a little steady attention. Over the years, George has spent countless hours with Michael introducing him to many enriching experiences – from sports and entertainment events, to museum and library afternoons, to discovering the delights of different ethnic cuisines at local restaurants. And with each new adventure, Michael has benefited from the calming influence of George’s thoughtful conversations – quiet words tempered with gentle nudges to work a little harder, uplifting praise for meeting new academic challenges and the best gift of all…the gift of listening to what Michael has to say.

Through his mentor, Michael has been able to view the world through the eyes of a compassionate, successful man of integrity – and, to see the kind of man he can grow up to be. The time spent with his mentor has opened new doors for Michael who, now 12, beams with pride at his most recent report card as he looks up with great affection at George. Throughout Michael’s turbulent home life, George has remained steadfast, being the unwavering, positive presence the boy needs, and reassuring him that he “will always, always be his friend.”

Michael now has a court-appointed special advocate, who sees first-hand the difference George’s time, encouragement and attention has made. “Although living in an environment that is sometimes traumatic and far from what most of us would consider acceptable for our own children and grandchildren,” he says, “this child wakes up every day with the knowledge that George is there for him.” “Grandfather” George is truly what being a mentor is all about.
 

 
Senior Corps – Joan Dale
RSVP, The Grandfathers Group, Alexandria, VA
 

Joan Dale is the volunteer coordinator of The Grandfathers Group, a mentoring initiative of the Retired & Senior Volunteer Program and The Campagna Center in Alexandria, VA. The mission of The Grandfathers Group is to promote and enhance positive youth development for young African American males whose fathers are absent from the home by recruiting senior male mentors to offer a stabilizing influence through serving as positive role models. This intergenerational approach to mentoring impacts the external and internal developmental experience of young males by providing a supportive framework of empowerment, encouragement and esteem-building activities focused on character education and life skills.

Before becoming the coordinator of The Grandfathers Group, Ms. Dale worked for 11 years as a program manager for the Fairfax County Community Education Department’s Foreign Language Enrichment Program for elementary school students.

During the past twenty years, Ms. Dale has been an active community volunteer in both Alexandria and Fairfax County, VA serving as elementary school PTA President and volunteer on various middle and high school committees; serving ten years on the Campagna Center Board of Directors; and serving in various roles at Baptist Temple Church, as well as her neighborhood civic association.

 

 
Senior Corps – Gale Nation
Legacy Corps, Salt Lake City, UT
 

Gale is an outstanding member of the Legacy Corps and an outstanding citizen. Gale has devoted the past 20 years to service in his community. Gale has been a caregiver to elderly neighbors and friends in the community, doing a wide range of activities from providing basic necessities for them like grocery shopping, shoveling their sidewalk to taking a lonely senior out on their birthday.

Through his work with the Eagles Lodge, Gale has provided Seeing Eye dogs for visually impaired individuals in the community and emergency financial assistance for needy families. Through Legacy Corps, Gale provides companionship and respite care to frail eldery.

Gale also serves on the Advisory Council for his local Foster Grandparent and Senior Companion programs.

 

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