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CITY NOTES: Bridging the generations for 46 years

The time is right, come on down!

By Sarah Merrifield, Director, Foster Grandparents

Do you want a chance to volunteer and change your life and a child’s? The Foster Grandparent Program may be the perfect fit for you! 

Foster Grandparent Program is for men and women ages 55 or better who volunteer to spend time with children in day care, preschool or school classrooms. There are volunteer opportunities in Chickasaw, Cerro Gordo, Floyd and Mitchell counties.

Merrifield,-SarahOur program serves 19 sites and 1,400 children working one-on-one or in groups doing reading, spelling, math and building trusting relationships. The Charles City Foster Grandparent volunteers give back 65,000 hours a year to the children in the local area, building relationships that last a lifetime.

There are many reasons why individuals become Foster Grandparents. Some of the most common are: A reason to get up in the morning, a need to be needed, the smiles when something new is accomplished, and the relationships they create with our local children!

The intergenerational aspect of the Foster Grandparent Program benefits both children and seniors. Other benefits to becoming a Foster Grandparent include a tax-free stipend, earned leave, noon meal, uniform, paid holidays and the love of a child!

Grandparents and young people are a great combination! The grandparents’ service to the children alleviate the physical, mental and emotional problems of children with special needs, while allowing the senior citizens to enhance their self-esteem and remain physically and mentally active.

The Charles City Foster Grandparent program is the longest serving FGP Program of the nine in Iowa.

The Foster Grandparent volunteers do not take jobs away from the area but are an addition to the required staff at the sites we serve.

The program volunteers have great satisfaction knowing they are helping our local children in need and becoming a trusted adult in these children’s lives. This relationship can change the child’s as well as the Foster Grandparent’s life forever!

The city of Charles City became the sponsor in 1987 and has been instrumental in growing the program to cover the four counties. Charles City has gone above and beyond to make this program a success! We want to thank Charles City along with the volunteers and supporting businesses for helping make the program what it is today.

If you would like more information on volunteering as a Foster Grandparent, please call Sarah Merrifield at 641-257-6327 or stop by the office at 624 North Main St. Charles City. We always welcome visitors and encourage anyone to stop in, meet the staff and talk about Foster Grandparents!