Foster Grandparents program volunteer to retire after 25 years of impact.

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Posted on Friday May 27th, 2022

Each year the Fort Wayne Foster Grandparents Program brings together their volunteers and community partners to celebrate the impact the program has on those involved. This year is an especially bittersweet celebration, as they will be saying goodbye to long-time volunteer Shirley Warner.

Shirley came to the Foster Grandparents program 25 years ago. After raising 5 children and spending years teaching Sunday school, she was looking to stay busy in a productive way. Volunteering with Foster Grandparents was a perfect solution. Shirley's unwavering dedication to the children she interacts with, combined with her punctuality and team-player mindset make her an ideal fit for the program.

"Grandma Shirley is is very kind and warming to all the kids. If a child is upset, she will give them a hug and comfort them. When she enters the classroom, she’s always happy and ready for the day. I really miss her; she was our backbone. She knew how many kids we had, who was absent and what each child was interested in. Grandma Shirley is the best and I can’t wait to see her again." - Nicole Lee, Brightpoint Headstart

The strength of the Foster Grandparents program is that it positively impacts everyone involved. Not just the children or the volunteers, but also the teachers, family members, and the community. Over the last two and a half decades, Shirley impacted countless lives by embodying the principles the program is built on- service, selflessness, commitment, compassion, and more. Though she will be missed by many, her impact will be felt for years to come. 

Shirley is more than deserving of praise and recognition, and she will receive both on Friday, May 20th at the Fort Wayne Community Center, 233 W Main St, Fort Wayne, IN 46802 from10am-1pm. 

For more information, contact Kevin Naber, Director of Marketing and Outreach, Lutheran Life Villages or 260-447-1591

Grandma Shirley 2.JPG

About Foster Grandparents

The Foster Grandparent Program provides grants to qualified agencies and organizations for the dual purpose of engaging persons 55 or older in volunteer service to meet critical community needs and to provide a high quality volunteer experience that will enrich the lives of the volunteers. Program funds are used to support Foster Grandparents in providing supportive, person to person service to children with exceptional or special needs.

The Fort Wayne Foster Grandparent Program is an Americorps funded program sponsored by Lutheran Life Villages.

The senior volunteers work in Head Start programs, child-care centers for low-income families, schools, a domestic violence shelter, and a homeless shelter as an extension of the Lutheran Life Villages intergenerational outreach programming. These Grandparents show love, are positive role models, give emotional support, and mentor children with special individual needs in a classroom setting.

Learn more on the program website.

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