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Foster Grandparents Honored at Annual Dinner

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BINGHAMTON, NY -

The Broome County Office for Aging was honoring members of the Foster Grandparents program tonight with their annual dinner.

You don't have to adopt a child to be a foster grandparent.

Vince Fox, Director of the Foster Grandparent Program, said "Foster grandparents are senior citizens that volunteer inside schools... And they help children that need extra help to get through their day... They are giving them a little extra love... Mentoring to help them either academically or socially... Emotionally... Whatever they may need..."

For the last 47 years, Broome County's Foster Grandparent Program has been dedicated to helping children with special needs in our area.

And tonight, the program's advisory council is honoring the volunteers who dedicate part of their day for these kids.

Lisa Shuhle, Director of Broome County Office for Aging, said "About 56 foster grandparents that we are celebrating tonight... They are volunteers and they are very dedicated they travel to the schools and the day care centers... They are very dependable... And they put a lot of their heart and soul into their volunteering..."

But recognition isn't why these volunteers do what they do. They say they get just as much out of this program as the kids do.

Eleanor, one of the volunteers, said "These children... They give you love... And makes you feel younger... It keeps you young..."

And though they get a small stipend, volunteers say their time with the children is priceless.

Helen, another of the volunteers, said "From the children we get... Well you can't pay for what we get from them"