Volunteer program expands to help more seniors - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Volunteer program expands to help more seniors

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WATERLOO (KWWL) The Senior Companion Program (SCP) of Hawkeye Community College has new eligibility requirements to join the program.

Beginning October 1, the guidelines to participate in the program expanded to allow more area seniors to give back to their community through volunteer service.

Previously, in order to be a Senior Companion, volunteers had to be age 60 or over. With these changes, the minimum age to participate will be lowered to 55.

Also, the previous requirements limited volunteers to those with incomes that did not exceed 125% of the poverty level. The maximum income level for participants also increased October 1.

These changes, made possible by the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act signed into law by President Obama earlier this year, and the Corporation for National & Community Service, are part of a nationwide initiative to increase participation in volunteer programs across all ages and demographics.

"These legislative changes to the program could not have come at a better time," said Penny Fox, Senior Companion Program Manager. "There is great need for our services in the Cedar Valley and we are thrilled to be able to open the opportunity to be a companion to more seniors. We will be able to better meet the needs of those in the community who need help to continue to live independently in their own homes."

Senior Companions are active adults who go into the private homes of other seniors to provide companionship and help with daily living tasks. Volunteers assist clients with a variety of activities including meals, transportation, respite care and other tasks. For their time, Senior Companions receive a tax free stipend, meal and mileage reimbursement, paid time off and monthly paid training.

For more information, to request an application, or to register for the training, please call the Senior Companion Program office at 319-233-6726 or email scp@hawkeyecollege.edu.

Reporter: Danielle Wagner

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