Meigs Health Today: Grandparents’ Day

By Kim Casci, WIC Clerk

Can you imagine what this world would be like without grandparents? Did you know, like Mothers’ Day and Fathers’ Day we have a whole day that we celebrate grandparents? This year National Grandparents’ Day is September 12. President Jimmy Carter recognized Marian McQuade as the founder of this special day. 

In 1977, senators introduced a joint resolution requesting the President “issue annually a proclamation designating the first Sunday of September after Labor Day of each year as National Grandparents’ Day and Congress passed the legislation. On August 3, 1978 President Carter signed the proclamation. A year later, this special day was celebrated. 

McQuade wanted the youth to know about the importance of seniors and their contributions made throughout history. She encouraged everyone to “adopt” a senior and learn more about their lives, their goals, accomplishments and their challenges. Ways to celebrate this day vary depending on family traditions and history. Many grandchildren show their love with gifts and candy. If you don’t have a grandparent, I encourage you to adopt a non-relative as your grandparent. 

In the United States, there are approximately 2.7 million grandparents raising their grandchildren. Children living with their grandparents are more likely to have been exposed to violence, lived with someone who had drug or alcohol addictions or even mental health problems in the past. Across the nation, grandparents have stepped up to be caregivers for a variety of reasons. These grandparents often face severalchallenges and difficulties. Many grandparents would rather have these struggles than to watch their grandchildren be placed into foster care or temporary placement.  Often childrenexperience behavioral issues and, with their parents not being in their lives, it makes this harder to handle. With the right resources and support, grandparents can conquer these issuesand provide the child the help he/she needs. 

In Meigs County, we continue to see an increase in grandparents receiving full or temporary custody of their grandchildren. If you or someone you know has custody of a child under the age of five, they may qualify for supplemental nutrition assistance via the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program. You can contact the Meigs County WIC office at (740)-992-0392 (Monday – Friday from 8 a.m.-noon or 1-4 p.m.) for more information.

Kim Casci, WIC Clerk