‘Backyard’ Social To Honor the Grandmothers Raising Grandchildren

by Elizabeth Turnbull

While guardians of children are in a caring role and are seldom cared for themselves, a backyard social event on Saturday, May 8, is providing a space for both grandmothers, and the children they look after, to be cared for.

The social will provide live music and a space to socialize for the grandmothers while the children will have various crafts to participate in, such as beading and painting. Organized by Alesia Cannady, the founder of the non-profit Women United, which focuses on grandmothers raising grandchildren, the event is designed to provide for both the children and adults as unique people.

“I just created it because I think that everybody needs to have a positive experience,” Cannady told the Emerald. “You may come here as a group but you leave as an individual that has been loved for that time.”

To comply with COVID-19 safety guidelines, those attending the event — which takes place from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at 12214 75th Ave. S. in Skyway — will be required to wear masks and social distance, and PPE equipment will be provided for people who do not have it. Food, such as sandwiches and fruits and vegetables will be individually packaged so that there’s no cross-contamination.

In addition to honoring the bonds formed in kinship caregiving between grandmothers and grandchildren, the event will also celebrate the seventh anniversary of Women United’s Angel Hope Engagement Center, which Cannady started in honor of her granddaughter, who she began taking care of at six weeks old and who will be turning seven this year. Grandmothers and grandchildren with birthdays between January and April will also be celebrated and each child who attends will leave the event with a gift bag.

Cannady hopes that the children attending Saturday’s event will form bonds with each other while the grandparents get some much-needed care and entertainment.

“The kids that meet here,” Cannady said. “I guarantee that there will be bonds that they make and they will grow up with those bonds from the Angel of Hope Engagement Center.”

Elizabeth Turnbull is a journalist with reporting experience in the U.S. and the Middle East. She has a passion for covering human-centric issues and doing so consistently.

📸 Featured Image: Alesia Cannady in the backyard of her Skyway home. (Photo: Alex Garland).

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