A Tribute to Longtime Foster Grandparent “Grammie Maggie”
“I have a lot of love to give, and it makes me feel very good that I can do something helpful for children.” – Maggie Rutledge
At the age of 92, Foster Grandparent Maggie Rutledge was still volunteering four mornings a week until her resignation for health reasons at the end of December 2023.
Over the course of 16 years, “Grammie Maggie” dedicated nearly 16,000 hours sharing her love and wisdom with local children as a Foster Grandparent volunteer. The impact she has made on our community and generations of children is impossible to measure.
From putting puzzles together, to building houses and tunnels out of blocks, to reading and singing, to offering hugs and comfort, Maggie has been a beloved source of comfort and encouragement for young children, as well as their teachers and caregivers.
Maggie formed strong bonds with several children who needed a little extra one-on-one loving attention. One parent wrote a letter to thank her for helping their child accept his place in the family after the birth of a new baby: “With her love and compassion, Grammy supported our son while he adjusted to being a big brother. The two formed such a sweet bond. Without her, I am not sure how we (especially me) would have survived that time.”
When schools shut down during COVID, Grammie Maggie continued to Zoom with children a couple times every week, reading them books, listening to their stories, or just watching them play. Once vaccinations and guidance allowed, Grammie returned in person.
“Having Grammie here (over Zoom, and in person) gave the children a sense of normalcy in a world that had been tipped upside down. Grammie listened to them, and read to them, and talked about their drawings with them. That extra love during such a difficult time made all the difference for our children (and teachers!),” wrote Julie LaFountaine, assistant director at Pine Forest Children’s Center where Maggie volunteered as a Foster Grandparent.
Thank you, Grammie Maggie, for supporting generations of local children. Foster Grandparent volunteers like you are helping us build a brighter tomorrow in Northwest Vermont.