New Support Group Helps Grandparents Raise Grandchildren | News, Sports, Jobs

Adam Rubin, Special to Standard Examiner

Patsy Medina, Melonie Trujillo and Maxine Archuletta and their family pose with grandparents with an Open Arms flyer on Friday, December 31, 2021, in the Connect2Success building in Ogden.

OGDEN – Grandparents with Open Arms, a support group designed for grandparents raising their grandchildren, has been coming to fruition as a resource for the community since October 2021.

Melonie Trujillo led the organization with the help of other community groups, such as Connect2Success, as well as her husband and extended family.

“I do meetings for grandparents, like a support group where we can talk about the frustrations, just anything that comes with raising grandchildren,” Trujillo said.

According to Trujillo, many grandparents raising their grandchildren find themselves without an all-in-one organization to turn to to navigate guardianship laws, find resources for emotional support, provide clothing, and support. know-how to manage any potential financial problem.

Patsy Medina, who helped found the group and is raising three of her granddaughters, expressed the importance of letting the community know that there is support available.

“Where I have had to struggle, I want others to know that they are not alone,” said Medina.

Grandparents with Open Arms has strived to make the organization accessible by offering different meeting times and locations. The meeting is expected to be in full swing by mid-January.

Support groups will meet on the first and third Wednesday of each month from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Connect2Success, located at 3535 Lincoln Ave., in Ogden.

Additional meetings will be held at the Golden Hours Senior Center at 650 25th St. on the second and fourth Fridays of each month from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. in Ogden.

Masks will be provided during sessions, but participants are not required to wear masks during meetings.

Trujillo has raised four grandchildren since his son, Paul Phillip Trujillo, died in a car crash.

The loss of her son and the reception of her grandchildren motivated Melonie to set up the local organization.

“Some of us have had our grandchildren because of our children’s drug use, and there is a lot of guilt that goes with it,” she said. “I want grandparents to know that these weren’t the choices they made, it was the choices their kids made.”

Many grandparents have come together and become the legal guardians of their grandchildren, whether the cause is due to death, domestic violence, drugs or other circumstances. Trujillo and Medina believe there is a need in the community for an organization like Grandparents with Open Arms, to help a group that may be overlooked.

Grandparents with Open Arms is awaiting its nonprofit status, has received grants and created community partnerships, all of which have helped jumpstart the organization.

More information about Grandparents with Open Arms, can be found on their website GrandparentsWithOpenArms.com.

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