News Room

Southwest 8 Announces Two New Programs

Southwest 8 Senior Services is proud to announce that as of July 1, 2010 the agency became the new sponsor for two new programs in southwest Iowa that concern and affect senior citizens. The agency now sponsors The Senior Companion Program in Pottawattamie County and The Foster Grandparent Program in Fremont, Mills and Pottawattamie Counties in Iowa. Both programs are a part of the Corporation for National and Community Service, and Southwest 8 is thrilled to be a sponsor for these amazing programs that benefit both the volunteers and the organizations and clients that they serve.

Through the Senior Companion Program, volunteers aged 60 and older give of their time to serve as a companion for a frail elderly person. Some activities that they may do with their elderly clients include reading, visiting, playing games, or providing transportation so that the senior can run errands. For their service, if they meet income requirements, the Senior Companion receives an hourly stipend, which is tax free and does not count as income toward any benefits that the volunteer is currently enjoying, providing that they serve a minimum of 15 hours per week.

The Foster Grandparent Program operates similarly, although an individual need be only 55 to participate as a volunteer. Foster Grandparents volunteer at pre-schools, daycare centers, schools, and Head start programs for a minimum of 15 hours per week, and they, too if they meet income requirements, receive a hourly stipend.

Southwest 8 Senior Services recognizes how valuable these programs are to the communities covered by these grants as they give active fixed income seniors an opportunity to serve in a valuable capacity and increase their income at the same time. It is also a great benefit to the organizations, daycare centers and schools which serve as volunteer stations for the program in that having these senior volunteers enables them to expand the services that they are able to provide.

If you live in Pottawattamie, Fremont or Mills counties, and if you would like to get involved with one of these Senior Corps programs, please phone Jenny Kohlscheen at Southwest 8 Senior Services: 712-328-2540 or 800-432-9209 or via email: jkohlscheen@southwest8.org