Go to Redbox. Get the movie. Watch it and be inspired. “Secondhand Lions” is the story of two elderly brothers who take in their nephew, a boy on the cusp of teen-hood whose mother doesn’t seem to know which end is up. The boy watches, often in silent wonder, more often with jaw dropped in amazement, as these seemingly boring old men proceed to live their lives to the hilt. They make a mighty impact on this wounded soul, bringing love, hope and healing to his ailing and betrayed heart.
Today, as heart-wounded children move in with grandparents for a myriad of reasons, a story such as this offers a welcome glimpse of hope. While not sitting on the completely realistic side of the fence, it is true enough in its portrayal of the many youth who find themselves parentless. Grandparents may come away from the film feeling a nudge to live before grandchildren in such a way that a lasting, strong and positive impact is made.
On the more realistic side, and closer to home, there are many helps for grandparents who find they must provide long-term care for grandchildren. Let it be noted that depression ranks high among caregivers, one reason being the feeling of isolation that often comes when one’s world is consumed with care for others. There is no need, however, to go it alone. Look into the following Hampton Roads area and State resources. There is hope and grandparents can pass that, as well as love and legacy, along to hurting grandchildren.
A few local helps:
Catholic Charities of Eastern Virginia, Inc.
Contact: Kathy Dial
Phone: 757-456-2366, Extension 502
Service area: Hampton Roads
Description: Provides information/referral, support groups, case management, advocacy, resource library, parenting plans, counseling and other services
ACCESS (AIDS Care Center for Education and Support Services) Contact: Stacie Walls Beegle
Service area: Norfolk, Hampton, Newport News, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Suffolk, and Virginia Beach
Description: Provides HIV-related support services including case management, support groups, housing, and other services. Provides community HIV prevention education for youth.
GRANDS (Graciously Raising and Nurturing Daughters and Sons)
Contact: Margaret DePena or Kathy Gaillard
Service Area: Hampton Roads/Portsmouth
Description: Provides support groups
FACES of Virginia
Contact: Cate Newbanks
Phone: 1- 877-VA FACES (1-877-823-2237 toll-free)
Service area: Statewide
Description: Provides information and referral
Kinship Care Initiative – Statewide Task Force and Information Network- Virginia Department for the Aging
Contact: Elaine Nau, Human Services Program Coordinator
Service area: Statewide
For more information and resources for all manner of related needs, please see the Grandfacts State Facts Sheet. Help for imparting hope and inspiration to grandchildren in need are only a small click away.