Want to leave a lasting impact?

Monday, July 9, 2012

Providing aid to young people is something we all appear to have hard wired into our genetic make-up. Whether it is a crying infant, or a lost child, nearly everyone wants to help.

As we age and raise our own families, the desire to help remains with many, but the opportunities to actually be able to do something are few and far between.

Volunteering is one of the best ways to help fulfil this need in adults, as well as make a difference in the lives of young people.

Volunteerism takes many forms. Some choose to help at their church, whether it is helping in the nursery or in Sunday or Vacation Bible Schools. Others may choose organizations, like service clubs, that help young people through philanthropy and targeted programs.

Non-profit organizations like the library, the museum, 4-H, the Art Center, the Y and the schools can always use extra help. All one needs to do is ask.

Last week we told you about the foster grandparent program and their need for volunteers in Plymouth County.

The Rock Valley Rotary Club administers the program, which matches men and women age 55 and older to volunteer at least 15 hours a week at nonprofits such as schools, day care centers or head start centers.

Foster grandparents can perform a wide variety of duties at these centers. In addition to interacting with children and giving more one-on-one attention to those that are in need, they can also help the teacher and the hot lunch program.

Gehlen elementary principal LoLorieussbaum, interviewed by the Sentinel about the program, reports that Gehlen has had several foster grandparent volunteers in their school for several years.

The program is working for the school, students and the volunteers.

The children get special attention, the volunteers get to see the difference they are making in the lives of the students and everyone benefits.

There are currently openings available. If you feel you would have at least 15 hours a week to help out, please contact the Rock Valley Rotary at 712-476-2628.

You'll be glad you did.