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News Release
We're not going to grandma's house for Christmas; we're living there now! - 12/21/18

There was a time when Christmas meant going to grandma’s house for a holiday meal. But these days in Oregon, there are more than 24,000 grandparents who are taking care of their grandchildren full-time. Nationwide, more than 3 million grandparents are stepping up to help their families.

There are many reasons why grandparents suddenly find themselves in this role. It may be military service, the opioid crisis, or even death of a parent, said Joyce De Monnin, Communications Director of AARP Oregon.

“Regardless of the why, AARP has resources to help,” De Monnin said. The AARP Grand Families Guide can be downloaded free online at https://www.aarp.org/relationships/friends-family/info-08-2011/grandfamilies-guide-getting-started.html

It features tips about legal issues, personal support, finances and more. In Oregon, the Jesse F. Richardson Foundation also has web-based resources with information, tips and tools at http://resources.tiesthatbindor.org/search

There are other ways Oregonians are stepping up to nurture children without traditional parents. Bridge Meadows in the Portland metro area brings youth formerly in foster care together with older Oregonians, some of whom were in foster care themselves.

Executive Director Derenda Schubert says families come in many different shapes.

 "Family is what we make it, and family can include our neighbors and children in foster care,” she states. “They're all our kids. They're not somebody else's kids.

“And the more healthy our children are in our communities, the healthier our communities and the stronger our communities are."