Muskegon, Michigan, July 7 Volunteer Program Pairs Older Adults with Children in Classrooms Who Have Exceptional Needs , 2022 – Catholic Charities West Michigan is seeking volunteers age 55 or older to serve as mentors to local students through its AmeriCorps Seniors Foster Grandparent program in Muskegon, Newaygo and Lake counties.

The Foster Grandparent program enables older adults with limited income to help enrich the lives of young people in local schools. Volunteers help guide students to higher academic achievement through one-on-one tutoring and support in their classrooms.

“Foster Grandparents serve as role models and mentors for students with exceptional or special needs, helping them pave a path to a successful future,” Program Director Carol Hart said. “Students benefit immensely through improved academic outcomes and having a trusted ‘grandparent’ in their classroom to learn with, talk to and confide in.

“By being engaged in their community and making a difference in children’s lives, Foster Grandparents gain great personal fulfillment and a phenomenal network of like-minded individuals who love giving back.”

The program provides tangible benefits to volunteers whose income levels qualify. Stipends and mileage reimbursement to eligible volunteers help offset the costs of volunteering. Other benefits include training, community recognition, social events and friendship.

Volunteers who join now will be trained at the nonprofit’s White Cloud or Muskegon locations to serve in classrooms this fall. Individuals can choose to volunteer from 5-40 hours per week. To be eligible, applicants must be 55 years of age or older with limited income and no criminal history.

“The pandemic has taken a toll on our volunteer numbers, so the need is great for older adults to serve in classrooms this next school year,” Hart said. “If you or someone you know is age 55 or older with a heart for service, please consider joining our Foster Grandparent program.”

To learn more and apply, individuals can call 231.726.1200.

Catholic Charities West Michigan provides a variety of social services in West Michigan to meet critical community needs and enrich the lives of volunteers and the people they serve. For more information about the community-based nonprofit and its offerings, visit

About Catholic Charities West Michigan

For over seven decades, Catholic Charities West Michigan has been feeding the hungry, counseling those who struggle and building strong families. Through a broad spectrum of social service programs focused on the needs of children and families, CCWM serves residents of 11 counties in West Michigan. Headquartered in Grand Rapids, CCWM has more than 235 employees who work from nine locations and last year touched the lives of more than 35,000 individuals. For more information, visit