Author: Catholic Charities Published:
Martha Villa, a long-time Catholic Charities foster grandparent passed away on December 2, 2018. She was a 27-year veteran of the Catholic Charities Foster Grandparent Program which brings together senior citizens and children who have special or exceptional needs.
Since 2005, Grandma Martha worked in the children’s room at St. Anthony Family Shelter. There, she spent hours helping children with arts and crafts projects and was known to read to young residents until they fell asleep. By the time children exited the shelter they had learned to put away toys and wipe down tables and chairs.
Lyndon Drew, director of the Foster Grandparent Program said even though she was quiet and shy, she was successful at what she did.
“Those who knew her said she was an excellent role model for children.”
Ann Nash, St. Anthony Family Shelter supervisor said she had a gentle spirit and was always open and honest with everyone. “She taught the kids that sharing is caring,” Nash said. “She would tell them to be nice and kind to each other and to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’.”
Nash said even adult residents considered her like their own grandma and would ask her for advice.
“Grandma provided unconditional love, hugs, encouragement and hope to all our clients and staff.“
The Foster Grandparent Program allows retired individuals to engage in meaningful work that benefits all involved. To become a Foster Grandparent, call Lyndon Drew at (316) 264-8344 ext. 1210 or visit CatholicCharitiesWichita.org.