One of my best relationships I had growing up was with my grandparents. But unfortunately, many children grow up without grandparents – for many different reasons – and elderly people would love to take time out of their day to spend time with children.
That’s why a Florida woman created one of the first known ways to connect surrogate grandparents with families who need them.
After Donna Skora’s daughter-in-law wouldn’t allow Donna and her husband to have any relationship with their grandson, she decided to offer up her “services” as a loving grandparent to another family in need. And thus the organization was formed.
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 starting the group in Feb 2015, there are now over 1,500 members and families. If you’re like me, you had no idea that something like this was needed. But when you think about the concept, it is actually brilliant for both parties involved!
Seniors are introduced to families in need of role models, mentors, or just helping hands for their children. 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.”