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LSS seeks foster grandparent volunteers

In Minnesota in 2019, 273 Foster Grandparents spent nearly 163,350 hours supporting children at 142 schools and other sites throughout the state.

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Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota is seeking volunteers for its Foster Grandparent service, in partnership with AmeriCorps Seniors, a national service agency, to offer guidance and encouragement to children and youths in the community.

Foster Grandparent volunteers are older adults who traditionally offer one-to-one mentoring in the classroom and other settings to children and youths who may be experiencing academic or social challenges, a news release stated. Their presence and reassurance can help children and youths improve self-esteem, social and emotional development and literacy and math skills.

“The children are wonderful, and it is great to see their joy when they succeed,” said Carol Barsness, a foster grandparent volunteer, in a news release. “A parent wrote me a letter after the school year ended and shared that their child thought of me as his own grandma. I was able to provide emotional support for him.”

In Minnesota in 2019, 273 Foster Grandparents spent nearly 163,350 hours supporting children at 142 schools and other sites throughout the state. With the COVID-19 pandemic, the service was provided virtually over the past year. Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota seeks to resume in-person volunteering for the upcoming school year. However, there is still the opportunity to volunteer remotely with partner sites that offer remote learning.

Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota is currently seeking volunteers who are 55 years or older and can commit to at least 10 hours per week.

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The Foster Grandparent service offers volunteers an hourly stipend, a chance to stay connected and a meaningful opportunity to make a difference in the lives of young people. More than 15 hours of training is provided and there are a limited number of iPads to loan volunteers who don’t have access to technology for remote volunteering.

Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota conducts background checks to ensure safety. The statewide organization serves all Minnesotans and welcomes volunteers from various cultures, backgrounds, traditions and stages in life to inquire.

For those interested in becoming a Foster Grandparent, call 888-205-3770 or visit lssmn.org/fgvolunteer .

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