I recently saw the registration poster for the 19th Annual Grandparents as Parents conference in Lexington, Kentucky. 19 years ago a friend of mine who was a grandparent, raising grandchildren, recruited me to be on the planning committee for the first conference. We started out small, with a little funding from local agencies, and space in the Cooperative Extension building. I think we had space for 100 people, and worried that no one would show up, the next thing we knew we worried that we would have to turn people away. We went from wondering if it would work, to how can we accommodate the need.
A couple of years later, I talked them into moving to new venue. And we morphed from a local conference to a regional one. We were worried that with the new venue and having to charge a small registration fee, no one would show up. I guaranteed the hotel contract the first year on my personal credit card, and we sold the venue out, netting money to start the next year.
I worked with the local bar association to get local family law attorneys to volunteer to sit down in private - one-on-one - to talk with families about the legal options.
I was surprised, the average grandparent raising grandchildren, were in their late 40's to mid 50's. Most often the parents were unavailable because of substance abuse or incarceration. Occasionally the children were just abandoned with family members, dropped off for the weekend and never picked up. The stories were often heartbreaking. The efforts to provide a safe and secure home heroic.
It is a pleasure to see this conference still going strong, after all of these years. I wish it didn't need to happen, but as long as there is a need, it is wonderful to see that people are still finding a way to make it work.
Great news about the conference, although not great that it's needed. At first glance, I thought that was a photo of a pond filled with lily pads.ReplyDelete
Outdoor tables at the patent and trademark officeDelete
I have long felt that there needs to be a test before becoming a parent because some people are not meant for the job.ReplyDelete
See Sweetie! You do wonderful things that help people. Love you!!! 😘ReplyDelete
Thank you, somedays I need remindingDelete
The amount of children who need to be taken care of by someone other than their parents is shocking.ReplyDelete
Lucky people step up and do the right thingDelete
Good for you! I didn't know this of you.ReplyDelete
Many things to talk about some weekDelete
Creating that conference showed great insight and foresight on the part of you and the other organizers!ReplyDelete
I hope it has made a differenceDelete
It seem like quite few people are raising grandchildren.ReplyDelete
Coffee is on and stay safe
And doing well at itDelete