Our Good News Story of the Day comes from Washington; but it has nothing to do with politics. This is about a program that benefits kids and seniors in a simple, yet powerful, way. One of the biggest issues that seniors face is what to do with their time after retirement, many have struggles financially, some just find a lack of purpose; but not so for the more than 20,000 volunteers for the Foster Grandparents program which runs across the United States and puts these elders with their wisdom and care into classrooms of children who have need of guidance.
Not only do the kids benefit from the affection and the wisdom of these grandparents; many of whom would not receive this kind of positive experience in their home life, but the volunteers also are gaining from the program.
As these Grandmothers do receive a small stipend, they also gain the benefit of purpose, of social connection, and a sense of importance that can be lost in later years in our society. A recent study found that nearly half of the program’s volunteers report improved health after just one year – something Maureen Brooks has felt personally. “[The doctor] told me to keep up the good work. My pressure down, blood pressure down. My weight is down. I just had my cataracts removed. They’re fine. I said, I’ve got to see my babies,” She said.
Love and purpose, wisdom and kindness, it is a win-win situation for the children and the foster grandparents in this program. So why are there only 22,000 volunteers across the whole of the US? It isn’t for a lack of interest, in Washington, there’s a waiting list of a hundred seniors hoping to get involved. The only hurdle is more funding for the program.
If you would like to know more about the program and the impact it has had on some of the volunteers you can find it in your Good News Story of the Day here.
Image and Story from CBS News.