Innovative Programs

Traveling Grannies/Grandpas Program

Mission/Goal of Program

The Traveling Grannies/Grandpas program was founded in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The program began seeking funding in 1992 and the first Traveling Grannie/Grandpas volunteer started serving teens in 1993. Low-income older adults 55 years and over provide services to at-risk, pregnant and parenting teens and their infants. The Traveling Grannies and Grandpas were also involved with the Family Impact Project through the Grand Rapids/W.K. Kellogg Foundation Family For Kids Initiative. Through this project, children ranging in age from 6 months to 15 years in the foster care/adoption system received hands-on mentoring/companionship.

Programs/Services Offered

Low-income older adults volunteer 20 hours a week and earn a non-taxable stipend of $2.55/ hour along with other tangible benefits. The Traveling Grannies and Grandpas provide a variety of services which helps at-risk teens gain greater self-sufficiency and improve their well-being and that of their children.  The program focuses on decreasing the occurrence of abuse, neglect and exploitation of teens and their children; encouraging good health habits; and providing need transportation.

Start Date
Friday, January 1, 1993
Type of Agency/Organization
Gerontology Network
Grand Rapids
Geographic Reach
Clientele/Population Served
At-risk, pregnant and parenting teens and their infants
Special Populations
Pregnant and Parenting Teens