Senior Corps Volunteers!

Bingo, knitting, sitting quietly in a rocking chair all may seem like normal activities for a senior, but every day these stereotypes are being broken by seniors who are Never Too Old to Play!. Many seniors are bringing hobbies they love, such as tennis, motorcycling or adventure travel, into their golden years.

May is Older Americans Month, and it is a perfect opportunity to show our appreciation for the older adults in our communities. The theme for 2012 is “Never Too Old to Play!” and it puts a spotlight on the value older adults bring to our communities through their spirited participation in social and faith groups, service organization, and other activities. The theme also encourages older Americans to stay engaged, active and involved in their own lives and in their communities.

Sue Seawell, of Sauk Centre, is one senior who knows there’s no age limit on pursuing one’s passions. Sue has many passions in her life, and one of them is the work she does as a Foster Grandparent. She has spent ten years at Holy Family School in Sauk Centre in the kindergarten classrooms. Sue volunteers three days a week working with students on reading, writing and providing help to students that need extra attention.

Sue’s interests extend beyond her work as a Foster Grandparent. She is involved in the Special Olympics and the American Legion. Sue and her husband also volunteer with the Sauk Lake Senior Fishing and Boating, taking local seniors on their pontoon to boat and fish during the summer.

Even with all her volunteer activities, Sue does find time to have some fun. Her great passion is her 1975 Mercedes-Benz convertible, which she got a little over a year ago. Sue loves to drive around town in her convertible, often with her golden retriever perched on the ledge in the back seat. With a sparkle in her eye, Sue says, “I feel so hot when I drive my car!”

This year Senior Corps Week is being held May 7-11 to align with Older Americans Month. Senior Corps, which is under the direction of the Corporation for National and Community Service, consists of the Foster Grandparent Program, the Senior Companion Program, and the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program. Through Senior Corps programs, more than 340,000 volunteers strengthen their communities through their service.

The Central MN Foster Grandparent Program is sponsored by Catholic Charities of the Diocese of St. Cloud. The senior volunteers of the Central Minnesota Foster Grandparent Program provide meaningful, supportive relationships for children with special needs that enrich the lives of all involved. We salute our Foster Grandparents and other Senior Corps members for making a difference for generations, and being active members of their communities. For information on becoming a Foster Grandparent, please contact Pat Scherf at pscherf@ccstcloud.org or (320) 293-0682.

-Emily Chaphalkar