NEMCSA programs detailed for Lions

Heide Powers of Northeast Michigan Community Service Agency was the speaker at last week’s meeting of the Alpena Lions Club. She reviewed the three Senior Corps Volunteer Programs, which NEMCSA sponsors. Program chair for the meeting was Audra Smith.

The three programs are: (1) Foster Grandparents, (2) RSVP and (3) Senior Companions. NEMCSA sponsors these programs in 12 counties in Northeast Michigan.

For the Foster Grandparents program, NEMCSA signs up limited-income seniors (55 years and older). They mentor, nurture and support children with special needs for around 20 hours per week. While performing these services, they receive stipends, insurance coverage, meals and mileage reimbursement.

For the Senior Companions program, Powers noted that they also must meet these same criteria and are rewarded with the same benefits as the Foster Grandparents program. However, the people they serve are home bound seniors, who are home bound or residents in long-term care facilities. They help these folks by providing friendships, reading books and newspapers to the visually impaired or helping ease feelings of isolation that often accompany advanced aging.

Powers shared with the Lions many examples of the services provided. One was about Grandma Karen, who volunteers six hours per day as she repairs toys for kids. She enjoys this work, always smiling and always upbeat.