OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Halloween may be a week away, but police officers and sheriff’s deputies headed to a local store with Christmas in mind.
Sunbeam Family Services is preparing for its 19th annual ‘Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Holiday Program.’
The Grandparents Raising Grandchildren program helps Oklahomans who are 55-years-old or older raising grandchildren without the presence of parents.
If they live in Oklahoma, Cleveland, Canadian or Logan counties and qualify for the program, they are able to receive a bit of help around the holidays.
“In Oklahoma, we’re actually seventh in the nation for the number of grandparents raising their grandchild or grandchildren. This is largely due to the large incarceration population we have right here in this state,” said Angie Doss, spokesperson for Sunbeam Family Services.
Oftentimes, a grandparent’s life can change in an instant when something happens to their child.
“Most grandparents are living on a limited income, about $700 a month, so they’re paying for their rent, they’re paying for food, they’re paying for electricity. There’s not a lot of money left over at the end of the month. And now, all of a sudden, they’re paying for a new grandchild or grandchildren,” Doss said.
In order to help make sure that grandparents don’t have to skip the holidays, Sunbeam Family Services will host a special party where Santa will bring toys to the children of those families.
Before the party can happen, volunteers from the Oklahoma City Police Department’s TRIAD program, Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office and the Oklahoma Recyclers Association teamed up to purchase gifts for the families.
On Wednesday, the organizations headed to Walmart to shop for 60 families in need this Christmas.
Last year, the program served 800 families across the metro.
The organization is currently accepting applications for families who might need help this Christmas.
Applications are due by 5 p.m. on Oct. 31.
For more information, call Sunbeam Family Services at (405) 609-8939.