Throughout the school year, nearly 100 Foster Grandparent program volunteers can be found mentoring at-risk youths at schools, Headstarts and childcare centers throughout Wyandotte County. Even though the program participants are all seniors who meet federal low-income guidelines, it doesn’t stop them from giving to those in need inside and outside the classrooms.

During November, the Foster Grandparent program, which is sponsored by Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas, wanted to “serve those who served us.” They planned a visit to the World War I Museum and Memorial as a way to honor the program participants who are veterans or who have family who have served in the military. In addition, they wanted to give back to another Catholic Charities’ program.

Each Foster Grandparent was asked to donate an item such as a razor, toothbrush, shampoo, etc., for the men at Shalom House. “Shalom House has served many veterans before, and we thought this was a great opportunity to give back to not only Catholic Charities, but those who have served our country, as well,” explains Cari Olberding, Director of Foster Grandparent Program.

The Foster Grandparents collected 420 hygiene products and clothing items for the men served by Shalom. “Our Foster Grandparents have said many times how thankful they are for this program, but also for the many other resources they are able to find within Catholic Charities,” adds Cari. “This opportunity allowed them to give back to an organization they have been a part of for many years.”

To learn more about our Foster Grandparent program, visit us online: