SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Around 250 people attended the “Grands Raising Grands” Resource Fair Saturday afternoon, a type of support group for grandparents raising their grandchildren.
“My mom and dad were on drugs, so my Mima is now my mom,” said Saige Earnhart, a grandchild.
Grandparents said one of the goals of this fair is to show grandparents that raising your Grandchildren is pretty common.
“We didn’t know a lot of grandparents who were raising grandchildren. We didn’t realize there were so many of us,” said Mary Hunt, a grandparent.
A lot of children said they love living with their grandparents.
“It’s great! Mima’s the best parent ever! She got us three different iPads for Christmas. I like mom and dad, but ever since they went away I started to feel much better and safer whenever Mima was here,” said Earnhart.
But some grandparents said it’s sometimes challenging to raise your grandkids.
“Communication with the school is completely different, we have to worry about the internet, social media,” said Kimberly Shook, a grandparent.
And some kids said sometimes it’s hard on the kids as well.
“All the kids in my class like they live with their parents, and I’m basically the only one that lives with my grandmother and it’s kind of hard to make friends. Because it’s basically like I’m not a normal child,” said Lily Archer, a grandchild.
The resource fair had “Friends of the Library”, where they gave out free books to the kids, the Art Museum had hands-on arts and crafts and there was the MOCHIP, the Missouri Child Identification Program.
MOCHIP Regional Coordinator Kent Parnell said parents will bring their child in, and fill out an information sheet that’s put in a disc.
“If it’s a small child they get a DNA swab, or if they’re older they get a dental impression. Those are all put in one package for them,” said Parnell.
The goal of the MOCHIP is if your child goes missing, it takes a significantly less amount of time for the police to send out an Amber Alert because they already have all the information they need in that package.
If you missed today’s MOCHIP process, you can visit MOCHIP’s website to find out when they are organizing another event.