Evelyn Korbe, Munjor, Kan., worked as a receptionist in various banks before she retired. She joined the program in January of 2012 and has thoroughly enjoyed her time as a Foster Grandparent. After mentioning the program to a participating friend, director Jolene Niernberger and assistant director Joy Fischer contacted Korbe and encouraged her to become involved.
Korbe works in Munjor Early Connection, an early development center for children aged six weeks to three years, located across the street from her home in Munjor. Her everyday activities include feeding the kids, reading books and spending time with them until she leaves the school after lunch.
Korbe has affectionate memories of the children she works with, and finds the relationships valuable.
"Well, one time I missed for some reason, they sent me an 'I love you, Grandma' card," Korbe said. "Then when I hurt my back, I got a great big one, and the kids all had their fingerprints and put in there 'I love you, Grandma.' They're very lovable."
Mary Lou Pfannenstiel
Mary Lou Pfannenstiel, Munjor, Kan., found herself seeking Foster Grandparents to maintain a busy lifestyle after ending her career as a cook. She joined in October of 2010, and has worked consistently with the same classroom of children at Munjor Early Connection every since. Pfannenstiel said that her service as a Foster Grandparent helps keep her busy.
"I've been told I'd be better off if I gave up my apartment and lived in my car, 'cause I'm going all the time," she said.
Her days at Munjor Early Connection are filled with reading and playing with the kids, helping them fall asleep for naps, as well as assisting in every way she can. Pfannenstiel said she spends seven hours with the kids each day and finds it hard to leave. While the children aren't physically disabled, many are missing grandparent figures in their lives. Pfannenstiel is happy to substitute as a role model.
"They just, pow. They just grab your heart because these are in need kids…they need extra attention," Pfannenstiel explained. "I suggest to anybody who can, do it. I wouldn't change it for the world."