Grandparents play a much more substantial role in children’s lives than simply providing free childcare, according to some recent studies. A 2018 study claims that children who have regular interactions with grandparents have less behavioural problems, and one from 2014 suggests that kids who have regular interactions with a grandparents are less likely to suffer from depression as adults.
But in Metro Vancouver, where many young families are far from home and extended relatives, children are often raised with once a week Skype calls as their only contact to grandparents overseas. That’s where the Volunteer Grandparents come in. Volunteer Grandparents is a non-profit organization that connects seniors with some spare time to children in our community who don’t have grandparents nearby.
Linna Luu knows how important grandparents are in a family from personal experience.
“My grandparents have made a great impact on my life,” explains Linna. These days, Linna is a Project Engineer at Raven Supply. When it came time for her to make a donation to the organization of her choice through the Raven Giving Fund, Linna wanted to help other kids have the same beneficial experiences that helped her become successful.
“I’m positive these Volunteer Grandparents will make a significant difference in the lives of many children,” Linna explains. She knows that like any relationship, the one between child and grandparents is a win-win on both sides.
“I think that seniors often get left behind in our society, and this non-profit provides a way for these seniors to share their knowledge and experience with a younger generation while staying connected with their community,” she adds.
Volunteer Grandparents runs several programs. The Family Match program matches the volunteer with a family with kids aged 3 to 14 looking for the senior to take part in their family community. The School Grandparents Program connects seniors with elementary students, and the Ambassador program gives seniors the chance to volunteer at summer events.
But like everything she does, Linna had a very specific plan for her $250.00 Raven Giving Fund donation, and made the decision to direct her support to the Volunteer Grandparents’ Florio Bursary Program
“I specifically chose to support the Florio bursary because of the process required to be eligible for this bursary – the Volunteer Grandparents must provide a written explanation on why the grandchild they recommend should receive financial assistance to help fund an activity such as piano lessons or ski lessons,” she explains.
“This process not only provides a screening process for applicants, but also shows the children that their Volunteer Grandparents think of them and care for them as much as a biological grandparent would.”
Thank you Linna for all your hard work, and for doing what you can to make sure more children have the support they need to achieve their own successes.
To learn more about the Volunteer Grandparents, please visit www.volunteergrandparents.ca.