The United States census says nearly five million children are raised by their grandparents.
Now a Payson Illinois woman is wanting to start a support group to help those grandparents playing the role of parents for a second time.
It's been nearly six years since Jeri Lynn Trenter began raising her her two grandchildren. She said raising her grandchildren raises unique challenges. It's because of those challenges she decided start a support group that helps grandparents that are in similar shoes as hers.
"I was excited that somebody else out there was willing to accept the fact that this is very much needed," Trenter said.
Trenter has started the Adams County support group with the help of Debby Hostetter. Both women were raised by their grandparents, so they know what older adults face when they shift back into the role of being a guardian after three or four decades.
"Because I love to take my grandkids, spoil them rotten and send them home and they have that choice now. They've got to completely do a turnaround," Hostetter said.
Trenter also said she just wants to create a network where grandparents can access information and find the services needed to make sure the children have what they need.
"Every situation is different, so if we have somewhere where we can share this and give each other support and give a shoulder to lean on, I think I know how much better I felt and I'm willing to help share that," Trenter said.
And she hopes that sharing will continue for many years to come.
The first meeting of the Valley of Hope Support group is October 19th from 1:00 pm until 3:00 pm at Malachi's Cafe, 1739 Oak Street in Quincy.
You can contact Jeri Linn Trenter at 217-430-9937.