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"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere …” | Martin Luther King Jr. 

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GRANDBLESSING MINISTRIES

OUR VISION: The vision of Grandblessing Ministries is to provide volunteers to support, enable and journey with Grandparents who are entrusted with the daily care and parenting of their grandchildren because of a variety of circumstances stemming from custody battles, mental illness, alcohol or drug addiction, negligence or absent parents.

WHO ARE GRANDPARENTS: Grandparents; the word conjures up images of greying hair, lazy afternoons relaxing in the yard, spending time doting on grandchildren…the term Golden Years comes to mind. Unfortunately for many that is far from the case.

Many grandparents, when they should be abiding in the rest from the fruits of their labours, have found themselves in the difficult and challenging position of having to take in their grandchildren, because their own children, due to drugs, neglect or abuse, are deemed unfit. So now they have no choice but to do whatever it takes to look after their grandchildren seeing that the only alternative is to abandon them to the callousness of the foster child system…all this occurring at a time when they are usually in ill health and lacking funds.

WHO WE ARE: Our President Gabrielle Nussbaum first became aware of the hardships of many destitute grandparents as a result of a documentary he watched (please see link below of a short version and Part 1 & 2 of a longer version) which showed the plight of too many grandparents caught in this web of despair. The grandparents love their grandchildren and often sacrifice their own health, financial security and peace of mind for the grandchildren they are entrusted with.

LINKS: https://womenofworth.lorealparis.ca/en/candidate/betty_lorraine_cornelius

PART 1 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xpqr3L_NTRE

PART 2 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEyE9l2V-Fo&t=471s

RESEARCH: After doing some further searching on the internet, Mr. Nussbaum discovered on the Internet the grandmother in Bancroft that started a support network which has spread throughout Canada. Mr. Nussbaum decided to contact her and see what he could do to help. She elaborated on some of the struggles that grandparents in these situations have to contend with:

In many situations, what adds insult to injury, is these grandparents, many of whom are not financially stable, end up having to go through the courts fighting their kids (to get the extra money they would receive from welfare and baby bonus) for custody, who are usually on legal aid. Therefore, they can drag things on for as long as possible, free of charge, while the grandparents are forced to pay what little money they have to try and save their grandchildren from a horrible fate. So, all of a sudden, they now find themselves in a terrible conundrum of either spending and expending what little resources they have to provide safety, stability and a loving home for their grandchildren or to just give them up to a life of chaos, turbulence and despair with their birth parents who have been deemed unfit due to violence, drug and/or alcohol use, etc.

In other cases, the grandchildren they end up looking after – sometimes up to 5 or 6 – because of the trauma many of these children have endured can end up being quite a handful. By the time these poor children get into their grandparents hands they have serious behavioural issues from a lack of discipline, neglect or abuse and then there could be psychological and mental issues and trauma as a result fetal alcohol syndrome, in addition to a host of other physical ailments.

Another addition to the array of difficulties grandparents can find themselves in, is being saddled with the added burden of looking after their own elderly parents who are also dependents and unable to provide a home and income for themselves, let alone their children. For example, one case I became aware of involved a grandparent that had to take in her mother with Alzheimer’s all the while looking after 3 grandchildren!

Grandparents, at this point in their lives , they will find their close, long term friends disappear at the first sign of turmoil and drama; friends, neighbors etc. refuse to help these grandparents because they want to avoid getting caught up in all the drama associated with their friend’s new responsibilities; ie,. Parenting their grandchildren during their retirement years. Most retirees look forward to weekly visits from the grandchildren but not young children day in and day out with the time commitment and sacrifice that involves. Thus, these grandparents lose their support system of friends to talk to and spend time with; which leads to their isolation.

Then there is all the emotional upheaval they now find themselves in, having to process through all the resentment welling up against their own children for thrusting their lives into such a state of disruption.

Finally, the grandparents have to deal with the fact that their grandchildren are living in a constant state of anxiety; worrying about the prospect of their grandparents dying and having no one else to take care of them.

VOLUNTEERS: WE NEED YOUR HELP: We are writing this letter to you because after being exposed to such a great need by these elderly senior citizens and grandparents, I felt that something had to be done for these people.

BIBLICAL REFERENCE: In the book of James we are told “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction.”

CALL TO ACTION: This could be a great opportunity to show the love of God by providing support and services to grandparents that find themselves in exactly the same position as “widows and orphans”, except their predicament is much worse!

MESSAGE FROM GABRIELLE NUSSBAUM: I believe God has laid it on my heart to setup up a group of believers that are willing to take their skills and talents and offer them to these grandparents and grandchildren in a practical way. This could be a simple as taking them shopping, looking after the kids, giving haircuts or more involved such as doing electrical, plumbing and carpentry work, or even providing a manicure, pedicure or well needed massage…you are only limited by your gifts and imagination!

Would you prayerfully consider if this is something that you could contribute to?

GIFT SUGGESTIONS

Gift cards to grocery stores

Gift cards for gas

Gift cards for children’s clothing

Rides to medical and psychological appointments

Free babysitting services (must have valid vulnerable sector police check)

Someone to talk to

An invite to a Sunday dinner or brunch

Whatever your gift, then please feel free to respond to this email to see how we can help you serve a family in your community.

I look forward to hearing from you.

God’s blessing,

Gabe Nussbaum

Executive Director

Grandblessing Ministries

TEL: Equal Justice Canada (416) 901-4355 ext. 3