Generations United Improves Lives by Bringing People Together

Opportunity Nation is proud of its diverse multi-sector coalition, which is committed to expanding opportunity and economic mobility for all Americans. In the weeks and months ahead, coalition organizations will be featured here on our blog to showcase the impact they make every day and highlight why they are a part of this campaign. Below you can learn more about the work of our partner Generations United, whose unique, intergenerational programming improves the lives of children, youth and older adults.

Generations United is the only national membership organization focused solely on using intergenerational strategies, programs, and public policies to improve the lives of children, youth, and older adults. Opportunity Nation is seeking to build a coalition of diverse groups from across the country to expand opportunity for all generations. That fits our mission and our motto perfectly – Because we’re stronger togetherâ.

Our work on behalf of “grandfamilies” and in particular, our sponsorship of the National GrandRally, offers a great example of how we create paths to opportunity.

Grandfamilies are families headed by grandparents and other relatives who share their homes with their grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and/or other related children. Recently released 2010 Census data show nearly 7.8 million children live with a grandparent or other relative who is the head of the household.

Most relative caregivers step in when the children’s parents are unable to care for them. By providing a loving, supportive environment, these relative caregivers keep children out of foster care and provide the encouragement and support they need to build a strong foundation for the future. Such nurturance offers a real pathway to opportunity.

Caring for someone else’s child, however strong the bond, can strain the resources of the closest of families. Generations United, along with its co-sponsors, created the National GrandRally to strengthen grandfamilies by focusing lawmakers’ attention on two primary fronts: the profound contributions relative caregivers make to society, and the need for policies that support these families. This year, on Sept. 15th, we celebrated the Fourth National GrandRally. That day, more than 600 relative caregivers and their children from across the country gathered on the Capitol grounds to voice their concerns about financial security, access to health care, and other basic supports. They called on lawmakers to create policies that address those needs. The GrandRally is an important step in empowering grandfamilies.

In these times of extraordinary economic challenges, it’s tough to hold onto the American Dream. To achieve it, we must work together. Intergenerational approaches leverage the resources, wisdom, talents, and skills of every generation to build stronger communities and a better society. We think grandfamilies exemplify this. When it comes to the future of our country, it’s not a fight, it’s a family.


To learn more about Generations United, please visit

For more information on the GrandRally, visit

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