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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 Members and Volunteers >
 
Stories of Service

 

Senior Corps

 
Willie Jenkins
Foster Grandparent – Catholic Social Services of Oakland County, Pontiac, MI
 

For the past 12 years, Willie Jenkins has been volunteering five days a week as a mentor and role model at Children’s Village, a juvenile detention facility in Pontiac, Michigan. Upon her arrival as a Foster Grandparent, Willie soon realized that the young women at the Village had an untapped desire to learn new skills and that by teaching them life skills she possibly could restore their self-esteem.

She soon determined that the best way to teach life skills to the facility’s young women was to help them start their own business. A former caterer, Willie worked with them to start the “Believe in Yourself Café.” The cafe reinforces skills in cooking, reading, cooperation, sewing, and many other areas. Initially, there were no resources to purchase food or supplies for the store. Determined to make it work, Willie purchased the supplies herself. Children’s Village soon saw the value of the program and began providing funding for the café.

Willie Jenkins says of her volunteer experience as a Foster Grandparent: “I love it and I love the girls. They’re sweethearts – and sometimes they’re devils.”

Many of the girls at the Village will tell you that they are closer to Willie than they are their own grandmothers. She is always there to wrap her arms around them with a hug, provide some advice, or calm them down when life gets out of control.

 

 
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