Broward County Foster Grandparents Continue to Impact Children with Donation from The Jim Moran Foundation to Senior Volunteer Services

Thursday, March 30, 2006

John Gargotta, second from left, executive director of Senior Volunteer Services, and Tammy Jackson, far right, program director of Senior Volunteer Services, accept a $68,200 check designated to the agency's Foster Grandparent Program presented by Jim and Jan Moran and Melanie Burgess, far left, executive director of The Jim Moran Foundation. The check is part of The Foundation's recent multi-year grant totaling $138,200 to Senior Volunteer Services.

DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. - Senior Volunteer Services, Inc., established on the idea that harnessing the wisdom and service of older adults can make the world a better place, will now be able to touch even more lives in the community. The Jim Moran Foundation (The Foundation) recently awarded a multi-year grant totaling $138,200 to the organization's Foster Grandparent program, which provides older South Floridians the opportunity to use their knowledge and life experiences to benefit Broward County school children in need.

The agency's Foster Grandparent Program provides support and service to students with special needs through tutoring, mentoring and providing nurturing attentive care. The senior volunteers assist with reading comprehension, vocabulary, spelling, alphabet and number recognition and other English-language learning needs to students who are struggling in school.

"In the rush of today's society, children desperately need role models who will take time to listen and extend a helping hand. Through the Foster Grandparents Program, older adults are providing that safe place for learning and understanding to children who need it most," said The Jim Moran Foundation's Chairman and President Jan Moran. "We are proud to support the innovative programming offered by Senior Volunteer Services, where there is no generation gap."

Founded in 1965, Senior Volunteer Services, Inc. utilizes the skills, talents and experiences of older adults who want to remain active, healthy, and involved in their communities. The organization operates several volunteer programs including school dropout prevention, respite for caregivers, senior companions, free consulting services from retired executives, community engagement and foster grandparents. Senior volunteers impact education, health, human services and public safety and improve efficiency of other non-profits through their lifetime of skills and experiences.

The Foundation's grant, consisting of $68,200 in 2005 with annual commitments of $40,000 in 2006 and $30,000 in 2007, will help the Foster Grandparent Program provide over 200 volunteers to serve more than 2,000 children throughout Broward County Schools.

"Our program yields a double advantage - to the individuals and students who benefit from this service," said John Gargotta, executive director of Senior Volunteer Services. "The children are getting one-on-one tutoring and nurturing support, and the volunteers themselves realize proven health benefits through social interaction and a sense of purpose and accomplishment."

The Foster Grandparent Program accepts volunteers age 60 and over and, for individuals who meet low-income eligibility requirements, a small tax-free stipend is provided. Foster Grandparents serve 15 - 20 hours per week and are assigned to priority schools based on requirements by the School Board of Broward County.

Senior Volunteer Services' mission is to engage older adults in volunteer service to meet critical community needs and enrich the lives of volunteers. For more information on the Foster Grandparent program, contact Executive Director John Gargotta at (954) 484-7117.

About The Jim Moran Foundation

The mission of The Jim Moran Foundation is to improve the quality of life for the youth and families of Florida through the support of innovative programs and opportunities that meet the ever-changing needs of the community. It is located at 100 Jim Moran Boulevard, Deerfield Beach, Fla. 33442. To learn more about The Foundation visit www.jimmoranfoundation.org or call (954) 429-2122.

About Senior Volunteer Services, Inc.

Senior Volunteer Services is the premier organization for older adults who want to remain active, healthy, and involved in their communities by contributing time to improve the lives of others. Their mission is to engage older adults in volunteer service to meet critical community needs and enrich the lives of volunteers. It accomplishes this by tutoring and mentoring children; providing support and companionship to frail elderly and adults with disabilities; and placing volunteers with nonprofit organizations where their skills and experience enhance the capacity of services to the community. Older adult volunteers impact education, health, human services, public safety needs, community and economic development, art and culture, and the environment.