CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – With West Virginia having the second highest rate of grandparents raising their grandchildren, the United Way Emerging Leaders of Harrison County wanted to give back to them by hosting a Grandfamily Holiday Luncheon on Sunday.

The luncheon was held at the Clarksburg Masonic Lodge where 29 grand families, who are a part of the Healthy Grand Families program, were recognized for their hard work and dedication.

Organizer Brad Riffee said that events like these are meant to show grandparents that they aren’t alone and there is always a helping hand available when they need it.

“You know these grandparents are raising their grand kids,” Riffee said.” And we want them to know that we support them and if there’s anything that they need, we’re here. We’re here for them.”

The families were served a hot meal and event got to take home some leftovers to save them the hassle of cooking that day. Children who were in attendance were given a backpack filled with goodies to take home.

Healthy Grandparents is a program put on by West Virginia State University to provide information and resources to grandparents who are raising one or more grandchildren. The program is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture

The program was designed to serve as a series of nine discussion sessions and follow-up services. Each session is taught by an education professional with more than 40 years of experience who also happens to be the product of a grand family.

Each session provides valuable resources along with childcare for attendees and refreshments. Upon completion of the program, participants will receive a certificate of completion, a gift card and three months of follow-up services with a Licensed Social Worker.

Those who are looking for more information and resources from Healthy Grandfamilies can do so by clicking here.