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Letters to the Editor
Lincoln Daily News
601 Keokuk St.
Lincoln, IL  62656

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Celebrate Grandparents Day and share program information on Grandparents Raising Grandchildren          Send a link to a friend

Dear Editor:

As we celebrate Grandparents Day, I want like to thank those individuals who have taken on the extra responsibility of raising their grandchildren. There are more than 100,000 older people in the state of Illinois who are taking care of their family's children, while more than 200,000 children under the age of 18 are living in a grandparent-headed home.

Often, with compassion and great sacrifice, grandparents step outside of the traditional role and selflessly raise their grandchildren. These "silent saviors" may have few resources or family members for support. They may have retired early to care for their grandchildren or returned to work in order to support them. They may be in their 40s or their 80s. It can happen to anyone, at any time and for any reason.

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Thankfully, there are programs available to assist relatives raising children -- [programs] that are accessible through the Illinois Department on Aging. In fact, Gov. Rod Blagojevich doubled the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren program's funding this year. The program provides assistance with paying for emergency needs, utility bills, medications, food and clothing and offers referral services to local resources.

This Sunday, let's honor grandparents, whether they are traditional grandparents, long-distance grandparents or grandparents raising grandchildren. To show your appreciation, share the Illinois Department on Aging's Senior HelpLine toll-free number, 1-800-252-8966, with grandparents who are raising grandchildren, to make sure they are receiving the assistance and support they deserve.


Charles D. Johnson
Director, Illinois Department on Aging

(Posted Sept. 9, 2006)

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