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2 South Dakota senior volunteer programs lose main sponsor

April 10, 2018

ABERDEEN, S.D. (AP) — Two senior volunteer programs in eastern South Dakota are in limbo after their primary sponsor announced it will no longer administer them.

Volunteers of America will stop facilitating the Foster Grandparents and Retired Senior Volunteer programs in eastern and northeastern South Dakota by the end of May, the Aberdeen American News reported . The organization has served as the two programs’ primary local sponsor for nearly a decade.

Both service programs are available to people ages 55 or older. Foster Grandparents participants receive a stipend based on logged volunteer hours. The program requires participants to meet certain income guidelines and log a minimum of 15 hours a week.

Retired Senior Volunteer, or RSVP, connects seniors to service opportunities like mentoring children or participating in Meals on Wheels, which delivers meals to people unable to buy or prepare their own food.

The sponsor organization decided not to reapply for federal funding because of fiscal and program restrictions, said Stephanie Monroe, managing director for children, youth and family services programs for Volunteers of America of the Dakotas.

Local seniors can still directly contact school districts or other agencies to continue volunteering, Monroe said.

“If they can continue to serve in that capacity, we absolutely encourage that,” she said.

More than 700 individuals have volunteered at 200 sites in Aberdeen, Brookings and Watertown through Volunteers of America since 2009.

The programs were receiving funding from their federal agency, the Corporation for National and Community Service.

There haven’t been any recent changes to the program’s federal funding on a national level, said Samantha Warfield, a spokeswoman for the agency. Another group could tap into the federal money to administer the programs in the area, though it couldn’t be immediate.

Warfield said the next round of applications will be announced after fiscal year 2019.


Information from: Aberdeen American News, http://www.aberdeennews.com

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