Mayor Martin J. Walsh and Emily Shea, Commissioner of Elderly Affairs, City of Boston, present ABCD Foster Grandmother Miriam Manning, age 91, with an award for her service to children and families at the Mayor’s Day of Recognition of National and Community Service. Miriam has volunteered as a Foster Grandmother with ABCD Early Head Start in Dorchester for 22 years.
ABCD helps older Boston residents stay vibrant, secure and engaged, with the resources they need to enjoy optimum quality of life in their later years.
This heartwarming intergenerational program gives new meaning to the words “mutually beneficial” as older, low-income volunteers work with children with special needs to the joy and benefit of all concerned. In the ABCD program, 155 low-income seniors assist children with special needs at Head Start, child care centers and public schools, enhancing their school readiness, literacy and mathematics skills.
This year ABCD Foster Grandparents celebrated the program’s 50th anniversary with a series of events including live-streaming the national celebration with teenage program participants teaching Foster Grannies to tweet the President as he addressed the nation and a social media campaign to thank the program’s important community partners.
Funded by the AARP Foundation, this initiative reduces food insecurity and brings healthy eating and budget management information to elders in four neighborhoods.
The ABCD Elder Services investment this year was $1,003,690. Those funds provided stipends for 155 Foster Grandparents who contributed more than 146,000 hours to help more than 800 children, healthy aging services to more than 300 elders, and walk-in assistance and companionship at five neighborhood centers.