Department of Aging and Disabilities Foster Grandparent Program Urges Anne Arundel County’s Baby Boomers to Get Involved and Volunteer
New PSA Campaign Launches to Increase Number of Baby Boomers Engaged in Community Service
Annapolis (July 7, 2008) - Anne Arundel County’s Department of Aging and Disabilities Foster Grandparent Program recently joined forces with the federal agency, the Corporation for National and Community Service, to unveil a multi-year public service advertising campaign aimed at recruiting America’s 77 million baby boomers to volunteer. The campaign’s goal is to increase the number of boomers engaged in community service, and comes at a time when the nation’s non-profit and volunteer organizations need the talents and energy of this generation more than ever before.
"The time for boomers to get involved is now," said Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold. "Volunteering one’s time can be fulfilling in so many ways and can make a difference in a nonprofit or community-based organization, a group of people, or the life of an individual. Fostering community involvement among this group is key to addressing a wide range of pressing social issues -- from long-term care for older adults to tutoring and mentoring disadvantaged youth."
Baby boomers represent 27.5 percent of the US population. As boomers reach retirement age and find themselves with more free time, they will have the opportunity to use the skills developed throughout their lives to address a wide range of social issues.
Born between 1946 and 1964, baby boomers came of age in a period of great social idealism. Many were compelled to service with President Kennedy’s famous "Ask not…" speech. The new campaign, is intended to compel this generation to "lead, inspire, and change the world ... again," sending a strong message that boomers made a difference once before and can do the same today by helping communities and individuals in need.
"America’s baby boomers are an untapped resource of extraordinary proportions. As this group nears retirement age and begins to navigate the next stage in their unique journey through life, they have an opportunity to leave an incredible legacy through service to others," said David Eisner, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service. "Baby boomers have the potential to do something real and substantial with their time and achieve meaningful and tangible results. Even if we can only induce a small percentage of these new retirees to become active in volunteering, we can make tremendous progress in addressing our country’s most critical needs."
Recent U.S. tragedies such as Hurricane Katrina have demonstrated the power and impact that volunteers have in making a quick and sustainable difference in the lives of people victimized by such life-altering events. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 30 percent of America’s baby boomers volunteered their time in 2004, up from 25 percent just two years earlier.
Anne Arundel County Department of Aging and Disabilities Foster Grandparent Program is part of Senior Corp Program. Foster Grandparent Program provides loving and experienced mentors to special needs children. Working one-on-one and serving between 15-40 hours a week, Foster Grandparents provide support in Head Start programs, homeless shelters, schools, and family support centers. Among other activities, they review schoolwork, reinforce values, teach parenting skills to young parents, and care for premature infants and children with disabilities. Foster Grandparents often maintain an ongoing, intensive relationship with the children and youth served for a year or longer.
Eligible Foster Grandparent volunteers must be 60 years of age or over. Those who meet certain income guidelines receive a small stipend. All FGP volunteers receive accident and liability insurance and meals while on duty, reimbursement for transportation and monthly trainings. For more information about the Foster Grandparent Program, contact Kristin Plumer, FGP Director or Nicole Becerra, FGP Coordinator at (410) 222-0144.
The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that was created in 1993 as part of the National and Community Service Trust Act, to expand and provide opportunities for Americans of all ages and backgrounds to serve their communities. Two million Americans serve their fellow citizens each year through Corporation’s three main programs: Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America. Together with USA Freedom Corps, the Corporation is working to foster a culture of citizenship, service, and responsibility in America. For further information about the campaign, visit www.getinvolved.gov.