Volunteer program for older residents gets grant

Published 10:15 am Friday, March 1, 2013

Senior Resources of Freeborn County has been awarded a $24,000 federal grant to support senior volunteer activities in the community.

The funding, which the organization typically receives each year, will go to support the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program.

Senior Resources Executive Director Annette Petersen said with stricter requirements for the application this year, she was a little worried about whether they would receive the grant.

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“It is an honor,” Petersen said.

The annual budget for the local RSVP program, which covers Freeborn, Faribault and Martin counties, is about $71,000. Petersen said there are more than 600 senior volunteers combined in the three counties who volunteer in at least 60 different capacities.

“Community service and volunteering are valuable resources for everyone, contributing to solutions for some of the most pressing challenges facing our community,” said Albert Lea Mayor Vern Rasmussen in a news release.

Rasmussen said the grant will provide opportunities for seniors to use the skills they have learned during their lives to inspire hope for the community.

The Albert Lea-based nonprofit organization was one of 206 volunteer groups nationwide to receive funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service. The awards were announced this week at a Capitol rally by Lt. Gov. Yvonne Prettner Solon.

“At a time of increased need and declining resources, volunteers age 55 and over continue to step in to fill the gaps,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, in the release. “Today, more than ever, communities need the talents and skills of all Americans to help move the nation forward.”

District 27A Rep. Shannon Savick said she is happy to have local organizations helping to create strong communities.

“Volunteering in our communities creates such a strong bond between people,” Savick said. “I want to congratulate Senior Resources for pursuing this grant and working so hard to improve the lives of everyone in our district.”