Grandparents who are caring for their grandchildren full time will meet at Calvary once a month.
The support group is open to all seniors.
FOR ANTIGO TIMES
Head Start director, Karen Kieper recently teamed up with Calvary Lutheran Church. Calvary has opened their doors and hearts to provide a meeting place for one of many support groups Karen facilitates for families. “My heart was so moved! I wanted to put what I had learned into action.” , explained Vicar Jennifer. “When our synod offered a grant for community impact I applied right away. I was hoping to use the monies to reach this very special group of people.”
There are a staggering 2.7 million care giving grandparents in the United States.
During a seminary class, Vicar Jennifer Sosinski researched and created a power point presentation on elderly caregivers as a project. “Calvary Church was given a small grant but there was just one problem”
Jennifer confessed, “I didn’t know how to connect the grant with the people who needed it.” For a year and a half Vicar Jennifer reached out to various places without success. Council president, Dan Young helped by connecting Vicar Jennifer with his aunt, Karen Kieper.
“When I first met Karen, I could tell she was a person who had a giant heart to help the Antigo community.” Karen has been with Head Start for over 30 years. “The door finally opened! It was a huge answer to prayer! Karen let me know she had a support group for grandparents who are caregivers, 25 of them! They have been meeting for years. I was so excited” said Vicar Jennifer with a smile.
In her work helping families in the Head Start program and others in the community Karen believes that elderly and differently abled people are underserved. She is determined to do something special for them. She has a goal to make 160 fleece tied blankets. Along with the colorful blankets, lotion and socks will be given at Christmas. Rescue workers from Antigo and White Lake will deliver them to care centers and others in need. The workers attended the October meeting of the caregiver group.
Because of generous donors, Karen currently has purchased material to make 54 blankets, but this is short of what is needed. If you want to help, Karen can be contacted through Head Start. “I truly believe Karen and I are a match made in heaven!” said Vicar Jennifer. The next meeting will be held Friday, November 18th. Coffee and refreshments are provided.