Hi everyone, it's Christina, I know you are all used to hearing from Payton every Friday but I wanted to jump on the blog this week and say thank you to all of our generous donors who have made such an impact this year.
Together, in 2022, we have helped over 150 families across the state of Pennsylvania and that is truly remarkable. However the need is far from met. There are still moms, dads, grandmas, etc. out there who feel alone in their parenting journey, trying to figure things out by calling agency after agency and scouring the internet. They feel like nobody understands and wonder if they are overacting in their worries about their child.
To help you understand how the Parent Alliance can help transform the life of a family I wanted to tell you about Alex, one of the children our generous donors helped this year.
Alex is an energetic 4-year old who is obsessed with dinosaurs and all things Paw Patrol. He loves being outside and hates when he has to take his favorite sweatshirt off to wash. He is funny, and intelligent, and has a huge heart, oftentimes stopping strangers in the grocery store just to say hi.
Tragically his mom passed away. Alex was raised by a single mother so his toys, clothes, and entire life were put into boxes and shipped off for an unknown life with Grandma.
Grandma couldn't believe she was back to square one. She wasn't financially, mentally, or physically prepared for round 2 of parenting. Her retirement savings were meant for one person to use throughout their retirement. Not to raise a young child. She thought the days of stepping on Legos were well in her past.
On top of that, the grief at Grandma’s house was palatable. Every time Grandma looked into Alex’s big, brown eyes – all she could see is her daughter. Her baby, who she never expected to live without. Alex asked, “When is mommy coming back?” daily - he just didn't understand
All of Grandma's friends are retired too. They used their newfound sense of freedom from working and raising kids to go to 3 hour lunches, and take weekend trips to the Poconos. Her friends were supportive. However, taking a bouncy 4-year old out to lunch did not fit into their lifestyle, and she didn't want to leave Alex with anyone else. She felt so alone.
As if there wasn’t enough for Grandma to deal with, she was starting to realize that her daughter was right. Before her passing Alex’s mom noticed that Alex’s behavior was different from his peers, and she was concerned. He had a lot of trouble focusing on one task and has abundantly high energy. She spent countless hours researching signs, symptoms, and ways to help. However, she passed before she was able figure things out.
Those same behaviors were on full display for grandma and mixed with the messy emotions of grief. Alex was having a hard time and has begun to “act out.” Grandma didn't even know where to start to get him help. She was totally overwhelmed, and alone, nothing was the same as when she was raising her children.
Luckily, Grandma found the Parent Alliance.
Now, Grandma has an advocate in her corner who helped her find a support group for others in similar situations. To hear how similar the challenges other grandparents are facing to her own has been transformative for her. Finally Grandma feels like she is understood, and no longer in this alone.
Not only that but the Parent Alliance helped her get Alex signed up for Pre-K, helped her get an early intervention evaluation, and made sure that she’s getting social security benefits, and so much more. Their path to healing isn't over, but Grandma is relieved she found a community of people who get her. She knows she and Alex can heal together, with the Parent Alliance in her corner.
Sadly, like I said, Alex and his Grandma's story isn't unique. There are many moms, dads, grandmas, etc. around the state confused and alone right now. By giving just $10 you can ensure that we reach 5 more families like Alex and his grandma. And your gift will support all the work of the Parent Alliance.
Thanks for reading a little bit about Alex's story, and thank you to our generous donors and grant funders. You know, and we know that a parent is their child's best advocate. We are so proud to have helped parents around the state get their children the support they need to thrive. I can't wait to see how many more families we can help in 2023 with your support!
P.S. In case nobody has told you today, you're a great parent!