Graves announces grant for Northeast Missouri Organization to Support Senior Volunteer Service
HANNIBAL, MO. – Douglass Community Services, Inc. (DCS) has received a new grant of more than $240,000 to support their Foster Grandparent program, Congressman Sam Graves announced today. The funding is provided by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency that administers Senior Corps and will support Foster Grandparent volunteers serving in Clark, Lewis, Marion, Ralls, Pike, and Monroe Counties.
Through Douglass Community Services, Inc., Senior Corps volunteers will serve in early childhood intervention programs for economically disadvantaged children in Head Start programs. As Foster Grandparents, these volunteers will provide tutoring, companionship, and developmental assistance to dozens of children in northeast Missouri.
“Douglass Community Services’ efforts towards early childhood education are truly admirable and I commend them for their great work,” Congressman Graves said. "The new funding announced today will provide Douglass’s Foster Grandparent Program the resources they need to touch even more young lives: through Senior Corps’ support of this program, they are investing in the futures of our children.”
“For decades, older Americans have been making a powerful impact in their communities, and this service is more important now than ever,” said Deborah Cox-Roush, director of Senior Corps at the Corporation for National and Community Service. “The Foster Grandparent Program is a win-win for communities because it benefits children and adults alike – young people receive emotional and intellectual support, while providing Senior Corps volunteers with an opportunity to stay engaged in their communities, a proven strategy for healthy aging. I am delighted that more Missourians will have the same opportunity through the new grant announced today.”
Senior Corps volunteers who serve with Douglass Community Services will join the more than 21 million Americans 55+ who contribute more than 3.3 billion hours of service in their communities according to the annual Volunteering and Civic Life in America report by CNCS. Their collective service provides a yearly economic benefit with an estimated value of $78 billion.
In Missouri, more than 3,400 seniors contribute their time and talents in one of three Senior Corps Programs – Foster Grandparent Program, Senior Companions, and RSVP. In the Foster Grandparent Program alone, these individuals have tutored more than 2,400 children, helping to close the opportunity gap created by a subpar education.
Established in 1965, the Foster Grandparent Program (FGP), now part of Senior Corps, provides volunteers aged 55 and older with the opportunity to make a real difference. Through one-on-one tutoring and mentorship of children and youth with special needs, Foster Grandparents create dynamic, lasting changes in their communities.