Guide to the God-Sent Grandparents Oral History Project, 2004 AIS.2006.15

ULS Archives & Special Collections

Summary Information

Repository
ULS Archives & Special Collections
Title
God-Sent Grandparents Oral History Project
Creator
God-Sent Grandparents Support Group.
Collection Number
AIS.2006.15
Date
2004
Extent
0.21 linear feet (1 box)
Abstract
The God-Sent Grandparents support group was founded in the early 1990s in the Hill District and relocated in 1993 to the Salvation Army Third Street headquarters in downtown Pittsburgh, Pa. This faith-based group provides spiritual guidance, as well as material aid such as clothing and food, to African American women in the community who have devoted their lives to raising their grandchildren while coping with crime, poverty, and various other social problems. This collection is comprised of cassettes containing interviews with participants of the God-Sent Grandparents support group and a final summary of the project.

Preferred Citation

God-Sent Grandparents Oral History Project, 2004, AIS.2006.15, Archives & Special Collections, University of Pittsburgh Library System

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History

The God-Sent Grandparents support group was founded in the early 1990s by a social worker in the Hill District of Pittsburgh who recognized the problems facing grandparents raising their grandchildren. These grandparents met weekly in the community room of their housing project to discuss possibilities of guardianship or the adoption of their grandchildren, as well as providing time for recreation and prayer. In 1993, the support group moved to the Salvation Army Third Street headquarters in downtown Pittsburgh, Pa., placing them closer to an organization that could provide relief for poverty-stricken families. This faith-based group provides spiritual guidance, as well as material aid such as clothing and food, to African American women in the community who have devoted their lives to raising their grandchildren while coping with crime, poverty, and other social problems. The stated goals of the God-Sent Grandparents group are to recognize the needs of grandparents who are raising their grandchildren; to provide effective social services to grandparents and their grandchildren; to challenge government to become a policy-making body securing rights and financial aid for grandparents who are primary caregivers for children; and to provide collaboration between grandparents and agencies while utilizing resources within the family system and community. In 2004, Salvation Army volunteer Robert Gorczyca conducted interviews with nine members of the God-Sent Grandparents support group with the hope that documentation of their struggles would bring a better understanding of the issues facing grandparents who raise their grandchildren. His play, "And the Tree Grows Strong," has been read several times for audiences in the Pittsburgh area with members of the God-Sent Grandparents group in attendence.

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Scope and Content Notes

This collection is comprised of cassettes containing interviews with members of the God-Sent Grandparents support group at the Salvation Army Third Street headquarters in Pittsburgh, Pa. The interviews detail the life stories of African American women living in Pittsburgh and the hardships they cope with while raising their grandchildren. There is also a report which includes the project's purpose, a summary of each interview, and a free-verse play titled "And the Tree Grows Strong" written by the interviewer, Robert Gorczyca, using each woman interviewed as a character. A master's thesis regarding the God-Sent Grandparents by David J. Fetterman has been added to the collection by the Archives Service Center to provide background information on this unique support group.

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Arrangement

The cassettes in this collection are arranged in alphabetical order.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

ULS Archives & Special Collections, June 2007

University of Pittsburgh Library System
Archives & Special Collections
Website: library.pitt.edu/archives-special-collections
412-648-3232 (ASC) | 412-648-8190 (Hillman)
Contact Us: www.library.pitt.edu/ask-archivist

Access Restrictions

No restrictions.

Copyright

Permission for publication is given on behalf of the University of Pittsburgh as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Robert Gorczyca on October in 2006.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Zachary L. Brodt in June 2007.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • God-Sent Grandparents Support Group.
  • Salvation Army.

Genre(s)

  • Oral histories (Document genres)

Geographic Name(s)

  • Pittsburgh (Pa.)

Personal Name(s)

  • Carter, Ruth S.
  • Chapman, Carol L.
  • Gorczyca, Robert
  • Graves, Annie
  • Johnson, Maggie C.
  • Lewis, F. Frances
  • Morris, Julia
  • Parker, Margaret
  • Stokes, Mary
  • Thomas, Amy

Subject(s)

  • African American families -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • Family social work -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • Grandparents as parents -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • Societies

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Previous Citation

God-Sent Grandparents Oral History Project, 2004, AIS.2006.15, Archives Service Center, University of Pittsburgh

God-Sent Grandparents Oral History Project, 2004, UE/Lab 2006:15, Archives Service Center, University of Pittsburgh

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Collection Inventory

  BoxCassette
Ruth S. Carter 11

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  Cassette
Carol L. Chapman 2

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  Cassette
Annie Graves 3

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  Cassette
Maggie C. Johnson 4

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  Cassette
F. Frances Lewis 5

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  Cassette
Julia Morris 6

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  Cassette
Margaret Parker 7

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  Cassette
Mary Stokes 8

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  Cassette
Amy Thomas 9

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  Folder
Project Summary with "And the Tree Grows Strong" by Robert Gorczyca 1

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  Folder
"One of Us: Connectedness in a Parenting Grandparent Support Group" by David J. Fetterman, 2001 2

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