Adopt A Grandparent

About 800 volunteers are being sought to spend one hour with a senior citizen during a community-wide Adopt A Grandparent Day on Saturday.

Volunteers are asked to set aside one hour at either 10 a.m. or 3 p.m. to visit senior citizens in 33 elder care facilities throughout the six-county South Mississippi region.

National Grandparents Day is Sunday.

The National Center for Health Statistics says 50 percent of nursing home residents have no close relatives and 46 percent have no living children. Many seniors, particularly those in nursing homes, feel lonely and isolated. Adopt A Grandparent Day was founded in 2014 to help change these statistics.

Volunteers may sign up at www.adoptagrandparentday.org. Donations also may be made via PayPal through the website.

Sponsorships, from $100 to $1,200, are also available to help promote the event and buy gift items for seniors. Details: Kathy Rogers at adoptagrandparentday@gmail.com or call 228-206-5902.

Kathy Rogers of Rogers Insurance in Gulfport said her mother came to live with her in 2011 after suffering a stroke.

But when her mother fell in 2013, Rogers said they placed her in a nursing home for rehabilitation for 30 days. Rogers said it’s an experience she will never forget.

“I remember seeing my mom the next day, and she was crying — she said she thought we weren’t coming back for her,” Rogers said.

She said she and her family continued to visit her mother during her stay.

“My husband would go around the same time every day, and people would be waiting on him in the hall — just waiting to talk to him,” she said. “So many people in nursing homes don’t have families, and they get lonely and they just want someone to talk to.”

Rogers and her staff created Adopt A Grandparent Day as a way to bring some caring and attention to those in assisted-living and nursing care.

National Grandparents Day is celebrated the second Sunday in September.

“We decided to have Adopt A Grandparent Day on the second Saturday in September, and we are needing some volunteers for this Saturday, Sept. 10.”

Rogers said they started the program in 2014 with 3,230 volunteers and went to 18 nursing homes in Harrison, Hancock and Jackson counties.

This year, she said, they are trying to almost double their visits.

“We are looking for 1,000 volunteers to spend an hour of their time visiting with people in nursing homes on Saturday,” Rogers said. “We are going to 32 facilities, and we have added George, Stone and Pearl River counties to our service area.”

Those interested in volunteering can complete a form at adoptagrandparentday.org.

“We need 1,000 volunteers this year,” she said. “We are going to visit at 10 a.m. and at 3 p.m., depending on what’s best for the nursing homes.”

The volunteer signup ends Thursday at noon.

Rogers said the whole family is welcome to participate.

“We encourage people to bring their children,” she said. “(Elders) love to visit with children.”

Source: Sun Herald (BY JEFF CLARK, jclark@sunherald.com)

This week, support a good cause while vying for a fun-filled “staycation” and make a new friend.

From 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, the Mental Health Association of South Mississippi will host its Don’t Worry Be Happy fundraiser at the Biloxi Civic Center.

The night will feature music by 3HG, a raffle of staycations, including a night’s stay and dinner at the Palace Casino, food tastings from local restaurants, auctions and more. Special guest Mark Landis, an artist who duplicates famous paintings, will be in attendance along with recipients of the 2016 Annette O’Keefe Humanitarian Award.

Admission tickets range from $30 to $50. Attendees must be at least 21 years old. Details: 864-6274.

On Saturday, the third annual Adopt-A-Grandparent program returns to South Mississippi. At either 10 a.m. or 3 p.m., volunteers will visit the elderly in the Coast’s nursing homes and senior-living residences. About 1,000 volunteers are being sought to participate in Adopt-A-Grandparent Day.

Interested volunteers can sign up at adoptgrandparentsday.org. Donations are also being accepted, which will help promote Adopt-A-Grandparent Day and buy gift items for seniors. To become a sponsor, contact Brenda Saucier at adoptgrandparentday@gmail.com or call 228-206-5902.


Source: Sun Herald(BY ALANDERIA WHITLOCK, awhitlock@sunherald.com)