By Jessica Easthope
Their hands have rocked to sleep, made the best chicken soup and given the tightest hugs, and now these grandparents are keeping busy making sure their grandchildren feel their love and support, even when they’re at school.
“It’s all for the benefit of our grandchildren and our school and our community so it does bring me a great deal of joy and I’m happy to do it,” said Diane Reynolds, the founder of the Good Shepherd Catholic Academy Grandparents Club.
The Grandparents Club has more than 70 members. Last year Diane noticed most of the people waiting outside to pick kids up from school weren’t parents but grandparents, she has 6 grandkids in the school.
Fran Heller says the club has given her the chance to get closer to her grandson.
“We have so much in common, it is a nice community and we get to do things not only for our families but to improve the school,” she said.
Their goal is to support the mission of the school, they give back in whatever way they can, whether it’s by modeling good citizenship or raising money and collecting donations. They’ve raised more than $4,000 so far. At their most recent meeting, the grandparents gathered new and used first holy communion dresses and suits for families in need.
Everything they do goes back into the school, an effort principal John O’Brien says keeps Good Shepherd a community.
“They are they are the ones who remember what Catholic education was like when it was taken for granted when everybody went to a Catholic school when catholic school was free and so we had to think of new ways, by relying on the people who were there before us to help us succeed,” he said.
At graduation the Grandparents Club gives a child who exemplifies compassion and kindness a modest scholarship, they say it helps the students live their faith.
“God always comes first and when you put God first everything else falls into place, it just lifts you up,” Fran said.
“Christ is at the center of everything we do and we want to instill that in our grandchildren as well,” said Diane.
Diane says a grandparent’s love is what drives them, that means their work is far from over.