|Adrian Charniak with her grandson, Joey, 16. Adrian became |
the legal guardian of her grandson, Joe, prior to her son's death
six years ago. She later sought help from the Center for Law
and Social Work, which provides legal and social services.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Advocate of Distinction is a feature in our Seniors4Kids Monthly e-Alerts, honoring a #FearlessElder advocating on behalf of children and families. You can see past Advocates of Distinction by visiting our e-Alerts archive.
Since creation in 2009, Gift of Hope has been active on state (see: Adrian's Help List for Illinois grandparents and other elders raising children) and national levels fighting for the rights of grandparents raising grandchildren.
Gift of Hope also provides emotional, physical, and spiritual support needed to face the overwhelming demands of raising grandchildren while striving to break the isolation older adults experience the second time around with raising grandchildren.
The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin April 2015 edition featured Adrian and her grandson, Joe, in a story known too well by many grandparents and other relatives – legal, financial, emotional challenges at extreme levels – who must step up.
Adrian and her husband, Ron, won the battle for their grandson, Joey, and enlarged their mission to help others.
Adrian’s service extends beyond Gift of Hope to the National Committee of Grandparents for Children’s Rights as a Board Member for the State of Illinois; the Illinois Taskforce for Grandparent’s Rights; the Grandparents Empowerment Group at Rush Hospital, Oak Park, Illinois and Rush Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois as Support Group Leader; the Help Desk with the Cook County Guardianship Assistance Desk For Minors in the State of Illinois.
Adrian has received many awards and accolades including the top volunteer service award from President Barack Obama.