The City of Charleston’s Coordinated Addiction Response Effort (CARE) and the West Virginia Drug Intervention Institute (WV DII) at the University of Charleston will host a free event honoring grandparents raising grandchildren at the North Charleston Community Center on Saturday, October 19 from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. Resources and demonstrations will be provided for grandparents while grandchildren participate in activities.

“One of the goals of CARE is to provide resources and support to families affected by the opioid epidemic,” said Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin. “West Virginia has one of the highest rates of grandparents raising grandchildren in the nation. Therefore, we believe it is vital to support these folks and connect them with local programming and health and safety information.”

“One of the compounding factors that has led to the increase in grandparents raising grandchildren, is the opioid crisis. It’s important to celebrate these families and provide resources and support,” said Dr. Susan Bissett, President of the West Virginia Drug Intervention Institute. “Over half of grandparents raising grandchildren in West Virginia are also working full or part-time, which makes after school programs and community resources essential for these families.”

During this event, the Charleston Police Department will hold a car seat installation demonstration and the Charleston Fire Department will teach kids about fire safety. Presentations will include medication safety and information about local after school programs. West Virginia State University will provide information about their Grandfamilies Program which includes educational sessions about communications, health literacy/self-care, legal issues, school programming and more.

This event will also act as an opportunity for grandparents to connect and build a support system within their community. The City of Charleston will be providing games and activities for the grandchildren attending this event with the assistance from University of Charleston volunteers. Light refreshments will also be provided.