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Senior volunteer opportunities target many ages

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While the Foster Grandparent Program was previously only for volunteers ages 55 or older who normally volunteer between 15-20 hours per week, a new pilot program offered through Lutheran Social Service (LSS) is intended to target Baby Boomers who are willing to commit to 10 volunteer hours a week.

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This allows them to become foster grandparents, who serve in area schools, women’s shelters, preschools and Head Start programs, or senior companions, who volunteer on a one-on-one basis with elderly residents in their community.

Marcia Ferris, LSS regional program manager, said the Minnesota Boomer Corps is a program targeting people born between 1946 and 1964, although 25 percent of participants may be older.

Like the Foster Grandparent Program, Boomer Corps volunteers would receive a tax-free stipend of $2.65 per hour and mileage reimbursement of 35 cents per mile. There are no income restrictions. A background check and ongoing training sessions are required.

For more information on the LSS Foster Grandparent Program, the Minnesota Boomer Corps or Senior Companions, visit www.lssmn.org/seniorcorps/ or contact Ferris at 218-839-6650 or marcia.ferris@lssmn.org.

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Jodie Tweed
Jodie Tweed has been a staff writer at the Brainerd Dispatch since May 1997, primarily covering education and writing human interest stories. She also took over as HealthWatch editor in the spring of 2010. A graduate of Pequot Lakes High School, she received her bachelor’s degree in mass communications at Bemidji State University and her master’s degree in mass communications at St. Cloud State University. She previously worked as news director at KLKS Radio in Breezy Point and was a media consultant at a Twin Cities public relations firm. She also worked as a staff assistant for the former “Nashville Now” television show on The Nashville Network while attending college in Nashville. She and her husband, Nels, have three daughters, Erika, 17, Madeline, 2, and Beatrice, who was born in April 2011.
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