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Then St. John;s Vice-Principal Christine Penner founded this grandmother support group in the fall of 2006. In August, 2005, Christine visited 459 homes of grade seven and eight students in an attempt to reach out to the community and to encourage parents/guardians to become real partners in advocating for their children in school. Throughout the home visits Christine noticed the large numbers of grandmothers who were raising their grandchildren.
In working with these grandmothers over time, Christine noticed the fatigue of many of the women who loved their grandchildren but needed their own supports in dealing with the responsibilities of parenting. On one occasion, Christine impulsively asked one of the grandmothers if she would like to go out for coffee.
This simple invitation set the stage for Grannies Gone Global as more grandmothers were called and a first “coffee date” of three grandmothers was held for support and discussion.
These grandmothers talked about the many challenges of raising grandchildren in neighborhoods where poverty, gangs, crime, drugs and alcohol are prevalent. At the end of the meeting, the grandmothers asked if they could meet again the next month, and the St. John’s Grandma Support Group was born.
The St. John's Grandma Support Group meets the first Thursday of every month - September to June.
Time: 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Place: St. John's High School
(Volunteer Drivers are available for transportation)
- Networking and socializing
- Sharing Circles
- Craft Nights
- Weekend Retreats
- Fundraising for African and Aboribinal Grandmothers (socials and craft sales)
In 2009, the Winnipeg grandmothers started fundraising for their African sisters who are also raising their grandchildren.
The Grannies Gone Global website can be accessed at: