“Attending the GrandRally is not only about sharing and advocacy but about making new friends, having fun, and bonding with those who share a common way of life. It is a great experience from beginning to end. It’s our CELEBRATION!!” -Opal, Maryland
***The Fourth National GrandRally already took place on September 15th, 2011.***
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the GrandRally, and why is it important to me?
When and where is the Fourth National GrandRally?
Who should participate in the GrandRally?
How many people typically attend the GrandRally?
What will happen at the GrandRally on September 15th?
How do I set up meetings with my members of Congress?
How do I help organize a group of caregivers from my State to come to the GrandRally?
How can I support the GrandRally, even if I can't attend?
Who sponsors the GrandRally?
1) What is the GrandRally, and why is it important to me?
* Awareness. The GrandRally is an historic gathering of grandparents and other relative caregivers from across the country that brings attention to the needs of children and grandfamilies.
* Education. The GrandRally is an important and highly visible opportunity to educate Members of Congress and their staff about the supports and services relative caregivers (or “grandfamilies”) need.
* Celebration. The GrandRally also offers caregivers, advocates and Members of Congress the chance to recognize and celebrate the essential role that grandparents and other relative caregivers play in keeping children safe and in stable families.
* Connections. The GrandRally will help members of grandfamilies across the nation connect with one another, share their stories and learn about important services and supports available to them.
2) When and where is the Fourth National GrandRally?
* The GrandRally will take place on Thursday, September 15, 2011 at 1:00 p.m. on the West Grassy Front of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. There are several pre-rally events as well on the evening of September 14th, including training opportunities and a celebratory dinner surrounding the rally. To learn more, please visit the events page.
3) Who should participate in the GrandRally?
* Grandparents and other relative caregivers, as well as all those who support them and their children are welcome to attend the GrandRally. We ask each person who plans to attend to register online; there is no fee to register!
4) How many people typically attend the GrandRally?
* The first national GrandRally, held in October 2003, was attended by more than 850 grandparents and other relatives raising children from 28 states and the District of Columbia.
* The second GrandRally in 2005 was attended by 1,000 grandparents, relative caregivers and advocates from 41 states and the District of Columbia.
* The third GrandRally that was held in 2008 was attended by more than 1,000 grandparents, relative caregivers and advocates.
* We look forward to the 2011 GrandRally building upon the success of previous GrandRallies in expanding awareness and creating momentum.
5) What will happen at the GrandRally, on September 15th?
* Noon: Grandparents and other relative cargivers raising children will begin to gather at the U.S. Capitol to celebrate what they are doing for children.
* 1:00 pm: The program will start, featuring grandfamilies, children, national leaders, Members of Congress, and other supporters of children and relative caregivers.
* 2:30 pm - 5:00 pm: After the formal program, caregivers will have the opportunity to meet with their own Senators and Representatives to share facts about children being raised by relatives in their states and districts and the help they need.
6) How do I set up meetings with my Members of Congress?
* After the Rally, participants are encouraged to visit with their Senators and Representative to speak about the needs of children and grandfamilies.
o Senate Visits: Your State Contact will schedule visits with your state’s Senators for all GrandRally attendees. Let them know if you would like to attend. To find out who your State Contact is and get information about your state’s Senate meetings, visit the State Contacts page.
o House Visits: Individuals will be responsible for scheduling their own meetings with their district’s Representative. For more information on finding your representative and coordinating your visit refer to the Advocacy page.
* Timing is important, please call as soon as possible to schedule your meeting. More information about your congressional representatives and how to coordinate your visits with other caregivers from your state can be found in the Advocacy section of the website.
* Free Trainings for Visits With Members of Congress: The sponsoring organizations will provide free trainings the day before the rally and the day of the rally to help you prepare for your congressional visits.
o During these trainings, you will receive tips on how to communicate effectively with Members of Congress and legislative staff. No need to be nervous! You’ll be a pro at meeting with legislators before you know it!
o In addition, State Contacts will be receiving preparation materials before the rally, which they can send along to assist you. Many will also be holding training sessions in their home states, so please reach out to your State Contact.
7) How do I help organize a group of caregivers in my state to come to the GrandRally?
* Website: You can start by sharing the information available on this website. Share this information as broadly as possible with others in your community who may be interested.
* State Contacts: You can also check the State Contacts section on the website for a list of individuals in states who have agreed to serve as a contact and help organize groups in their areas. We encourage you to work with these organizers in order to coordinate your efforts.
* Organizing transportation to DC: If you are interested in organizing a bus to bring caregivers from your city and have further questions, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us by phone at (215) 844-4744, and we will be happy to get back to you with organizing tips and other helpful information.
8) What if I can’t attend the Fourth National GrandRally in Washington, D.C., but I want to support it?
* Spread the word. Even if you can’t make it to DC, you can help spread the word within your community and state!
* Contributions or Fundraising Help: You can help by fundraising or making a contribution to help with expenses for the group which is traveling to the GrandRally from your state. To find out about other ways you can help, please get in touch with the State Contact listed for your state.
* Schedule a Visit With Your Member of Congress’ District Office. Caregivers and advocates who cannot make it to Washington, DC for the GrandRally can contact the district office nearest them to schedule a visit with staff from their member of Congress’ district office or call to offer their support of children and grandparents caregivers. For more information about finding your members’ district office and scheduling a visit, please refer to the Advocacy page.
* Coordinate Activities in Your State to Celebrate the GrandRally.To bring attention to the needs of children and grandfamilies nationwide, we encourage you to organize activities in your home state. For example, you could hold your own GrandRally at your state’s capitol building on September 15th. You could also show your support by organizing an email campaign to your legislators at the state and national level or write op-eds for your local paper.
* Watch Our Webinar To Learn More About Our National Call-In Day. On September 12th at 2pm, we will be holding a webinar to prepare you for the National Call-In Day. Register for the GrandRally or Sign-Up for Email Updates to receive information. State Contacts will also receive information soon regarding the date and time of the webinar.
* Join Us in Our National Call-In Day on September 15, 2011. You can help the day of the GrandRally by calling your Members of Congress and expressing your support for the many grandparents and other relatives raising children who have gathered on Capitol Hill. We will provide more information about how to participate in the Call-In Day during our webinar on September 12th at 2pm. In addition, as the date draws closer, State Contacts will receive more specific information and a toll-free phone number.
9) Who sponsors the GrandRally?
* This year’s GrandRally is sponsored by AARP, Child Welfare League of America (CWLA), Children's Defense Fund (CDF), Generations United (GU), GrandFamilies of America, and National Committee of Grandparents for Children’s Rights (NCGCR). To receive more information from our organizations, at registration, select the box – “I want to receive additional information about children, including children raised by grandparents and other relatives, from the GrandRally co-sponsors.”