Grandparent Support Group

Parenting young children is difficult at any age, but for older people unexpectedly pushed back into the role due to family circumstances, it can be overwhelming.

23 years ago, Shearl Lambert and her husband Clifford were facing a second stint as parents when their grandchildren suddenly found themselves without a primary caregiver. “We didn’t know what type of milk they were on,” Shearl told ABC 10News. “We didn’t know if they had their shots, we didn’t know anything about them. They were just left there.”

Clifford says it was an incredibly difficult time. “Raising other kids, after raising eight kids, and doing it the second time…it was tough.”

With the help of their church and pastor, the Lamberts made it through, but they didn’t stop there. Using the support systems they discovered, they founded Grandparent’s Connection, a nonprofit group dedicated to helping seniors who find themselves caring for young children again.

The group organizes monthly breakfasts, holiday events and outings for grandparents and children, and helps connect new families to needed resources. Over 17 years, they’ve built a community of support to help make those golden years with kids a little more manageable.

With 36 grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and one more to come, the Lamberts still find time to give back. Clifford says the reason is simple. “That way (the other grandparents) won’t have to go through the same things as us, all the struggles, all the crying, and stuff like that.”

For their dedication to community and connecting grandparents, ABC 10News and LEAD San ​​Diego have chosen Shearl and Clifford Lambert as the recipients of the 10News Leadership Award for the month of June.

Virginia S. Braud