BY D’ARCY PATRICK EGAN
A crowd of kids and their grandparents, and other caregivers, enjoyed a fun afternoon recently at the Hopfinger Zimmerman Memorial Park in Port Clinton, as the Ottawa County Family Advocacy Center’s GRANDlove program spotlighted the need to mentor the youngest members of the community.
The GRANDlove program is one of many programs serving the most needy in the county that are serviced by the Ottawa County Family Advocacy Center (OCFAC) in Port Clinton. Other worthy OCFAC programs include the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA); TNT Mentoring, TICKET to Success and a summer lunch program for school children.
The special GRANDlove event was linked with National Grandparent’s Day on Sunday, Sept. 12, and there was plenty of food, fun and kid’s music to make it a special day for the boys and girls, as well as grandparents and other care givers.
The GRANDlove program is presently serving more than 100 families around Ottawa County, and OCFAC officials know many more could benefit from the program. According to census data, there are 700 grandparent-led homes around the county.
The Center for Disease Control reports that about 2.6 million grandparents around the United States are raising their grandchildren, a very difficult task for many seniors. A high rate of poverty among seniors has resulted in 40% of grandparents reporting economic problems.
While raising grandkids can provide a renewed sense of purpose and the enjoyment of having young children around the house, grandparents also experience feelings of exhaustion, loneliness and isolation.
To contact GRANDlove and the OCFAC call 419-341-0225 or visit ocfamilyadvocacy.org.