More than 54,000 children in Arizona are being raised by grandparents in an informal kinship home, says Partners In Health & Aging: Duet, adding that feelings of exhaustion, irritability, fatigue and hopelessness are not uncommon when parenting the second time around,.

The nonprofit wants those who are experiencing these feelings to know that they are not alone, and provides a space for individuals to express their feelings and find connections. Connecting with other grandparents and kinship caregivers is always a good outlet.

In-person and virtual Grandparents Raising Grandkids support groups are available for residents. Virtual events will be held Nov. 16, 9–10:30 a.m., and Nov. 17, 6–7:30 p.m. Virtual group meetings also will be held in December.

In addition, Duet is hosting a holiday toy drive to help grandparents who are facing tight budgets shop for their grandchildren.

“Many of these families are on fixed incomes and do not receive any assistance awarded to foster families, which makes the support Duet provides all the more vital,” said Patricia Dominguez, director of Kinship Care Services. “We know 2022 has been emotionally and financially tough on our grandfamilies. Many have been forced to cut everything but basic needs from their budgets.”

The community can donate to the holiday toy drive by bringing new toys or gift cards to the Duet’s Phoenix office. The deadline to donate is Dec. 1. Residents can also shop Duet’s Amazon Smile Charity Wish List. Visit www.amazon.com/hz/charitylist/homepage and search “Duet.” Children ages infant to 12 years old will receive toys and teenagers will receive gift cards in increments of $25.

Duet’s free-of-charge services are available in the greater Phoenix area. For additional information, call 602-274-5022 or visit www.duetaz.org.

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