Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota (LSS) is seeking volunteers for its Foster Grandparent program, in partnership with AmeriCorps Seniors, a national service agency, to offer guidance and encouragement to children and youth in the community.
Foster Grandparent volunteers are older adults who offer one-to-one mentoring and tutoring in the classroom and other settings to children and youth. Their presence and reassurance can help children and youth improve self-esteem, social and emotional development and literacy and math skills.
“So many children just need a little attention and understanding to make a positive difference in their day. When I volunteer, I know that I have made a difference in their lives.” shared Roberta Klekotka, a Foster Grandparent.
In a survey this year, Lutheran Social Service learned that over 90% of volunteers either agree or strongly agree that their volunteer experience at LSS has changed their life in a positive way. Almost 85% say that they feel more socially connected because of their service as a volunteer. More than 76% say that they feel healthier because of their service as an LSS volunteer.
“The program is a win/win for me and the children. I feel like I am making a difference in their lives in so many ways. They have also made a difference in my life with their smiles, hugs, honesty and joy in learning new things. Being a Foster Grandparent volunteer has given me so much joy and a new purpose in this phase of my life,” Klekotka said.
Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota is currently seeking volunteers, age 55 and older, who can commit to volunteering at least 10 hours per week. The service offers volunteers a tax-free hourly stipend, transportation/mileage reimbursement, orientation and ongoing training and no prior experience is necessary.
Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota conducts background checks to ensure safety. The statewide organization serves all Minnesotans and welcomes volunteers from various cultures, backgrounds and traditions to inquire. If you are interested in becoming a Foster Grandparent, call 888.205.3770 or visit lssmn.org/fgvolunteer.
Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota also welcomes other nonprofits to become partner sites to support youth in a variety of settings including public and private schools, Head Start locations, shelters, and daycare centers. To become a partner, visit lssmn.org/fgpartner or call 888.205.3770.
Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota began in 1865 when a Lutheran pastor and his congregation opened an orphanage for children near Red Wing in southeastern Minnesota. Today, with 2,500 employees and 10,000 volunteers, Lutheran Social Service helps one in 65 Minnesotans through services that inspire hope, change lives and build community. Statewide, the organization seeks to foster safe and supportive homes for children, restore health and wellness in families, empower people with disabilities to live the lives they imagine, and promote health, independence and quality of life for older adults. For comprehensive information about the work of Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota, visit lssmn.org.