The Foster Grandparent Program is part of Senior Corps, one of the programs we administer at the Corporation for National and Community Service. Thomas and Campbell are among the 28,000 FGP volunteers nationwide who work with children and young people in schools and other community centers. Last year, volunteers age 55 and over contributed 24 million hours and served 232,200 young people across America.
“Grandpa Thomas,” as the students at Miner Elementary call him, leaves home early each morning to serve at the school, and he sums up his service in the following way:
“I paid my dues. I take the things that I learned through life and give it back to somebody. If I didn't do that, I'd be home watching TV all day long.This is my family.”
Tyrenea Sharpe, the teacher of the class where Thomas volunteers, told NBC that, “There is something about a grandparent that you just can't explain. It's that nurturing spirit. And the children, they feel that.”
Visit the "Making a Difference" section of the NBC News site to watch the video and see what Sharpe is describing. You'll hear from the students who benefit from Thomas' service, and you'll meet the young woman whom Campbell has mentored for nearly 11 years.
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