There are many families whose children have lives with no grandparents involved –and, likewise, many seniors who would enjoy conversations with youth, but have no grandkids of their own.
That’s why a Florida woman created one of the first known ways to connect surrogate grandparents with families who need them.
She founded Surrogate Grandparents USA, a Facebook group that connects families in any state with seniors looking to make meaningful connections. Though the concept for the group existed in other countries, none had been created in the United States.
“Rick and I decided it was time to try to do something that might turn this negative situation into something positive,” Donna told the Good News Network. “After all, if we aren’t allowed to love our own grandchildren, then we will love someone else’s children – and, at the same time, create the possibility for so many others.”
Since group’s debut in February 2015 with just 30 members, it has now grown to include over 1,500 members and families. A published list is accessible after you request to join the closed group. It shows most of the big states like California, Illinois, Arizona, Florida, New Jersey, and North Carolina, have nearly equal numbers of families and eager surrogates.
Dozens of seniors have been introduced in this supportive environment to families in need of role models, mentors, or just helping hands. Once they meet on the Facebook page, they take their relationship off line to get to know one another. If the connection sticks, their names are taken off the list of those looking for a match.
Donna and Rick have also found companionship after connecting with a single mom and her 13-year-old daughter.
“Even though they live in another state, this relationship continues to get stronger each day. We keep in contact with each other daily, via text messages, and try to video chat weekly. They have come to Florida to visit with us and we are planning on taking a trip to go see them sometime later this year. It has helped to fill the void that was in our lives, and helped fill the void in their lives too.”
(WATCH a video below…)
Spread The Love: Click To Share the Solution – Photo by Sean Dreilinger, CC, and Sun Star