Interest high in program to assist residents raising grandchildren

Published 10:01 am Monday, January 30, 2017

A new program designed to assist local families raising their grandchildren is already seeing a lot of interest despite the fact it has yet to start.
Earlier this month, the TLC Community Center and the Carter County University of Tennessee (UT) Extension Office announced a partnership to create a new program for residents raising grandchildren. The program is slated to have its inaugural meeting on Tuesday morning at 11:30 a.m. at the TLC Community Center.
Since the announcement of the program, TLC Community Center Director Angie Odom said she had heard from several people inquiring about the program and saying they plan to attend.
“We’ve had a lot of calls about it,” Odom said.
The TLC Center already provides programs that provide assistance to local families with children, but Odom wanted to have a program that addressed the specific needs of people who find themselves raising their grandchildren. She worked with Vickie Clark, the Director of the Carter County UT Extension Office to create a specialized program, which includes curriculum developed through UT.
Odom is also making some changes to the TLC Center’s operations to help support the new program.
“In the past, we’ve normally only accepted children’s clothing up to a size 5T,” Odom said. “We are now accepting children’s clothing of all sizes.”
Some of the grandparents who have inquired about the program are raising older children or teenagers, Odom said, adding that clothing for children can be expensive.
“That is a big cost for them, especially on a fixed income,” Odom said. “We want to make sure we are helping to meet their needs.”
Odom is looking forward to the program’s first meeting on Tuesday.
“We want to invite them to come and eat with us that day as well,” Odom said. “Our Soup Kitchen will be open and serving food that day, and they welcome to join us for a meal.”
The Soup Kitchen serves food each Tuesday from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m.
With the possibility of snow in the forecast for the weekend and into the early part of next week, Odom said the class could be canceled and rescheduled in the event of inclement weather.
“We work off of the Elizabethton City Schools schedule closings due to weather,” Odom said. “So if the City schools are closed for snow on Tuesday, the Center will be closed, and we won’t have the class.”
The TLC Center will host the grandparents’ program the last Tuesday of each month at 11:30 a.m. The TLC Community Center is located at 145 Judge Don Lewis Boulevard, Suites 5-7, across from the National Guard Armory in Stoney Creek.
For more information on the program, contact Angie Odom with the TLC Community Center at 423-895-8601 or contact Vickie Clark at the UT Extension Office at 542-1818.

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