PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- There's a growing number of senior citizens in Maine getting the opportunity to be foster grandparents as well as have senior companions.
The volunteer programs are offered through Opportunity Alliance throughout southern Maine in Oxford, York and Cumberland counties. There are 110 foster grandparents including Tom Rubino who helps third, fourth and fifth graders at Hall Elementary School in Portland. It''s a volunteer job he's been doing for seven years after his own kids and grandkids did what all kids do. They grew up.
"I have 20 nine-year-old grand children all the time, and that's the way I feel about them," said Rubino.
Opportunity Alliance has 25 senior companions who visit senior citizens. Sandy Smith spends time with 106-year-old Eva Ledger at her South Portland home at least once a week. She recently helped Ledger learn how to use her new iPhone. Not easy for a 106-year-old, but she new Smith was the right one to teach her.
"If I got something and it's not working, I give it to Sandra and even if she's never seen it before she'll get that thing working," said Ledger.
If you'd like to volunteer as a foster grandparent, or senior citizen, go to volunteermaine.org, or call 207-773-0202.