by Pat Ocheltree, MiCAFE
My concept of grandparenting has been significantly enlarged in the process of talking to many older adults through my work at Elder Law of Michigan! No longer do I think only of the loving grandparent figure who is able to help, influence and provide aspirations to their progeny!
I talk with so many dear grandparents, particularly grandmothers, who are denying themselves in many ways in order to provide a home, food on the table and education for their grandchildren. They give up personal freedom, convenience and comfort in order to provide for them. Causes range from economic downturn, illness, death, parental disinterest, drugs, incarceration, etc. Whatever the cause, I hold those in high respect who love and care for grandchildren at their own expense!
Who started Grandparents’ Day? This day began largely due to the efforts of Marian McQuade and was signed by President Jimmy Carter.
When? Mrs. McQuade began her formal efforts in 1970. In 1978, the United States Congress passed legislation proclaiming the first Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparents Day.
Why a National Grandparents’ Day? National Grandparents Day was created to honor grandparents, to give grandparents an opportunity to show love for their children’s children, and to help children become aware of the strength, information and guidance older people can offer.
Thank you to all of the amazing Grandparents in the lives of our staff and clients. You are appreciated!
Pat Ocheltree is the MiCAFE Volunteer Coordinator at Elder Law of Michigan. She has been at Elder Law since 2003 when she was hired as Administrative Support Staff for the Legal Hotline for Michigan Seniors. Since 2003, she has enjoyed many challenging and rewarding growth experiences serving as Assistant Project Director for the Consumer Fraud Prevention Project and the Benefits Enrollment and Options Center Manager. In late 2012, she was moved into the position of MiCAFE Volunteer Coordinator.
Pat graduated cum laude from Cedarville University with a Bachelor of Arts in History and Biological Science. Prior to joining Elder Law, Pat served as a Civil Rights Representative in the Department of Civil Rights for the State of Michigan for eight years. In 2008, she was the recipient of an Operation ABLE award for her outstanding efforts in her work with a diverse group of volunteers in a positive and productive environment.