Groups and Organizations
Mazzy is here!
By Aurora Hansen
"The joy of being grandparents" – I heard that for so many years. Then, when our oldest son married, I often experienced a secret longing. I'm sure the happy couple got many hints from family members and friends, but they took it all in stride.
Finally after 10 years, we got a phone call from them and said that a surprise was on the way- we were going to be grandparents. They asked us to wait before telling people until the third trimester. It was hard to keep the secret and I had that smile every time someone said something about their grandchild. True enough, at the third trimester, we were bursting with the announcement to family and friends. We were going to welcome baby girl Hansen on (or near) May 6, 2014.
A girl signaled "it's time to go shopping!" Gordon and I have two sons…no girls, so shopping was absolutely heaven! Pink, pink and pink made for cheerful colors. I had so much fun!
Mazzelynn Sabine Valde-Hansen is soon to be 16-months old. Time flies so fast and we see her every Sunday via Facetime. They live in Encino, California but her parents make sure that we are part of the highlights in her life. How I wish that they live a little closer but technology has given us the tool to talk and play with her every Sunday evening around 9 p.m.
We have so many hopes and dreams for Mazzy but eventually she will decide what makes her life happy and whatever it is, we will be supportive grandparents. For now, she sees the smiles on our faces, especially when she tries to say Nanay (grandmother in Filipino) and Opa (grandfather in German).
There is nothing like a grandchild to put a smile on your face, a lump in your throat and a warm feeling in your heart. Yes, Miss Mazzy, you do that for Nanay and Opa – and to everyone you meet!
Happy Grandparents Day
By Karen Boebinger
Grandparents Day is special to all grandparents, but it is especially significant for grandparents who are rearing grandchildren. There are more than 2,000 grandparents in Leon County who are the primary caregivers for their grandchildren. And that number is growing every year. As an alternative to foster care, grandparents often take on the role of primary caregiver, either temporarily or permanently, to fill the gap created by family circumstances such as death or illness of the parent, abandonment or neglect, teen pregnancy, incarceration, mental illness, or changing economic factors.
Even though grandparents willingly take on the role of primary caregiver to keep their families together, it still can mean a completely different lifestyle for them. It is not the retirement that many planned. Often, grandparents need to continue working instead of retiring. Raising grandchildren can be socially isolating – for both the grandparents and the grandchildren. It can also be difficult to find the necessary resources. The Grandparents as Parents (GaP) program was designed to meet these needs. The program provides camaraderie for custodial grandparents and connects them to the services they may need.
GaP grandparent, Suzanne Parke, enjoys coming to GaP meetings to gather information on community activities and resources, but mostly she attends for the socialization. "It feels so good to know that there are others out there in the same situation of raising their grandchildren, and can understand what you're going through."
And our events are fun! GaP sponsors field trips, picnics and parties for both grandparents and grandchildren. But the mainstay of GaP are the monthly support luncheons which include educational presentations, health education and screenings, access to legal services, advocacy, information and referral to community resources.
GaP is a program of the Tallahassee Senior Foundation funded by the Leon County Commission and donations. For more information about the GaP Program please call 891-4027 or email Karen Boebinger.
GaP Support Lunch
Becky Griffin (left) and Tammy Levingston work at the GaP exhibit table at the annual Kidsfest event.
Contact GaP Coordinator, Karen Boebinger at 891-4027 for more information or to RSVP for event! GaP is a program of the Tallahassee Senior Foundation, funded by the Leon County Commission as part of Leon County Senior Outreach.
These are groups that are part of the Tallahassee Senior Services or meet at the Tallahassee Senior Center.
Al-Anon - Support for families and friends of alcoholics
Beginners: Fridays, 7:15 - 8:15pm
Family Group: Wednesdays, 7:15 - 8:15pm and Fridays, 7:15 - 8:15pm
Support groups meet weekly. Anyone is welcome who has a drinking problem or for family and friends of those with drinking problems.
Diabetes Education and Support Group at Smith-Williams
2nd Wednesdays, 11:30am - 12:30pm
Focuses on obtaining supplies, eating properly, obtaining optimal health and quality of life. Participants will hear expert speakers and have opportunities to share. The group is a partnership between Tallahassee Senior Services and "Diabetes and You."
Insight Low Vision Support Group
3rd Tuesdays, 1:00 - 2:45pm
Participants come to share ideas, support, love and laughter with others adjusting to the loss of their sight. People of all ages with low or no vision, supportive friends and family members are welcome. There is no fee. Donations to the Center are appreciated.
SA Support Group
Tuesdays, 8:00 - 9:00pm
A support group for people dealing with sexual addictions. $30 monthly.
Capital Coalition on Aging
3rd Wednesdays, 8:30 - 9:30am
The mission of the Capital Coalition on Aging, coordinated by the Area Agency on Aging of North Florida, is to promote communication and coordination, and to build greater understanding and cooperation among providers of services to elders in the capital area of North Florida. Anyone may attend the meetings.
FFU - Faculty and Friends of the University Investment Club
1st Tuesdays, 7:00 - 9:00pm
The purpose of FFU is to improve the investment performance of novice and experienced investors via running an investment portfolio. Although current membership is near capacity, this club will help another group get started. Call the Senior Center for contact information.
Tallahassee Stamp and Cover Club
2nd Tuesdays, 7:00pm
From world albums to topical collections, this group talks about and trades stamps. Whatever your collecting needs, the club can help. Free appraisals and estate advice for collections you wish to sell. There are also special programs throughout the year. $5 annually.
Tal-Kug (Tallahassee Komputer Club)
2nd Thursdays, 7:30 - 9:00pm
Help each other solve program problems or hear about new software at meetings of this informal group. Everyone welcome to join, ask questions or provide input. Occasionally, there is a speaker. Dues: $12 per year or $1 per month. Dues pay for monthly one-page newsletter, postage and donation to the Senior Center.