MEDIA CONTACT: Julie Willmot
(609) 278-7137

TRENTON, N.J. - Mercer County is urging its residents to celebrate Grandparents Day on September 12 by spending quality time with grandparents and older residents as a way of reflecting, remembering and appreciating their contributions to our lives.

Grandparents Day began in 1978 when President Jimmy Carter issued a proclamation calling for a national recognition to be celebrated every year on the first Sunday after Labor Day. In 1998, the Legislature of the State of New Jersey took up this same issue and passed a law designating the Sunday following Labor Day as Grandparents Day in New Jersey.

The intent of the recognition is that Grandparents Day will become a day when visits would be planned to grandparents and other older friends and relatives, greeting cards mailed, flowers or similar presents sent, and special family events scheduled.

The Mercer County Office on Aging and its advisory board, the Council on Aging, have supported Grandparents Day locally for many years. In 2007, both were instrumental in the creation of “Grandparents Grove” next to the Marina in Mercer County Park, a scenic stonework patio and sitting area dedicated to the County’s grandparents and older residents.

“Grandparents Day is really a celebration of the role our grandparents and seniors play in our society and in our lives,” said Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes. “With more and more parents working, it has fallen to grandparents more than ever to be the foundation of a family. I urge our residents to make the extra effort on September 12th to show their appreciation.”

According to AARP, nationwide, 4.5 million children are being raised in households headed by grandparents—including dramatic 30 percent increase from 1990 to 2000. New Jersey is ranked 17th out of the 50 states for the number of households in which a grandparent is the primary provider, a figure that amounts to 6 percent of all households in the state.

In addition to helping raise young family members, older residents are critical in terms of providing social and cultural knowledge, contributing financially to their family, and building strong, sustainable communities.

As Carter wrote, “Grandparents are our continuing tie to the near-past, to the events and beliefs and experiences that so strongly affect our lives and the world around us.”

The following are a few suggestions for County residents to make this Grandparents Day special:
  • Visit Grandparents Grove in Mercer County Park with your grandparent(s) or older loved ones and enjoy the surroundings
  • Spend the day making a family tree
  • Interview your grandparents and make a journal
  • Share recipes and then spend the day making meals
  • Have a family gathering
  • Connect via email for virtual Grandparents Day greetings
  • Gather and pose with your grandparents for a family photo
  • Visit someone else’s grandparents or visit a senior facility – you’ll be glad you did
  • If your grandparents or older loved ones live far away, send a greeting card or create your own card and mail it.