Wow! What a night! Our first Grandparents Raising Grandchildren support group was a great success. We had 12 grandparents attend and 9 children. It was obvious that every grandparent in attendance, appreciated having a place where they can come and know that others understand their experience. Each grandparent told their own story that led to their raising their grandchild. Each story had its own uniqueness and yet, their were common themes of pain, chaos, uncertainty, and challenges. Each grandparent also communicated the joy and blessing that comes with the opportunity to step in a provide a safe and loving home for their grandchild.
One of the other clear themes that came through was the challenge of dealing with a parent who is struggling with an addiction or mental illness. Their is the paradox of the love you still feel for your own child and the anger and pain experienced when addiction takes over their lives, and interferes with their ability to be a safe and loving parent for their child, your grandchild. One of our goals of our group, is to provide support for grandparents who are currently dealing with this paradox.
Another exciting part of what we are experiencing in our launching of our support group is the support of so many community organizations. Prescott Unified School District has been great and providing a great location and helping promote the group. They even provided the childcare for our first group. Matforce has made a commitment to provide the funding for ongoing childcare for the group. NACOG has also helped to promote the group and is helping with the cost of snacks for the group. We also have had several organizations state that they would be willing to come to our group to share about the services that they can provide for the grandparents.
Our support group will meet monthly, on the second Wednesday of the month, from 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at the Resource Center, located at the PUSD offices in the old Washington School building on Gurley Street.