Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - Friday, August 23, 2019 


A federal court ruling changes how the President is elected, and Florida Democrats trigger a special session vote on guns. Those stories and more in today's news.

Daily Newscasts

IL Volunteers Providing a "Break" for Military Families

PHOTO: The Legacy Corps program in Illinois helps caregivers in military and veteran families so they donít have to shoulder the responsibility of caring for a loved one alone. Photo courtesy LSSI.
PHOTO: The Legacy Corps program in Illinois helps caregivers in military and veteran families so they donít have to shoulder the responsibility of caring for a loved one alone. Photo courtesy LSSI.
November 13, 2013

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - A program in Illinois is helping caregivers of military and veteran families so they don't have to shoulder the responsibility of caring for a loved one alone.

Lutheran Social Services of Illinois' Legacy Corps began a decade ago, focused on respite care for seniors, but expanded last year into helping military and veterans' families. Program manager Peg Saintcross said volunteers go into homes for a few hours a week and provide a variety of services to allow caregivers some "down time," or to attend to other responsibilities.

"Sometimes, the services that they require is that we watch the kids, so that they can go to school," she said. "Or sometimes they are sitting with a loved one so that the caregiver can go out and do errands. We also can do light housekeeping - or sometimes, making a meal for somebody is the world of difference."

In its second year of a three-year grant, Legacy Corps has funding for 50 full-time member positions, which require 450 hours of service a year. Volunteers are not paid, but they receive a stipend to cover incidentals, such as transportation. Saintcross said they are working on building a part-time volunteer base for those who only have a few hours of time a week or month to give.

While many of their volunteers are age 55 or older, Saintcross said more and more younger people are joining with the program.

"They add a whole new energy level and ideas, and absolutely no less passion," she said. "They're all in it for the ability to give back, to serve, to help, to be a part of somebody else's life."

The program began in Rockford and has since expanded to offer respite services to much of northern Illinois. Saintcross said she enjoys spreading the word about Legacy Corps, because she considers it one of the best-kept secrets.

"If you talk to 100 people, 99 of them have never heard of us," she said. "So, we just really enjoy letting people know that we have opportunity for them to serve and we have people we want to serve."

Legacy Corps is a part of Americorps. The program, through Lutheran Social Services of Illinois, is one of 18 in the United States.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - IL