Volunteer All-Stars: 5 Grandparents Who Are Changing Lives

These amazing grandparents have devoted their time to helping those in need.

By Gabrielle Karol

Grandparents can help teach their grandchildren how to walk, how to talk and how to read, but more importantly, grandparents can teach their grandchildren one of life’s greatest lessons: the importance of giving back to others.

To celebrate grandparents who have dedicated their lives to giving back to others, we’ve profiled seven truly amazing grandparents and role models who are making a difference. Read their stories, and get inspired! And if you want to get involved as a volunteer in your community, click here to join the Grand Corps!

Larry Goodman

Larry Goodman, grandfather of six
The Cebrin Goodman Center for Prevention of Drug Abuse, Chicago, Illinois

In 2005, Larry Goodman and his wife, Lillian, channeled the grief they felt from losing their granddaughter Cebrin, 22, to drug addiction, and opened the Cebrin Goodman Center for Prevention of Drug Abuse.

“Cebrin was a wonderful, extremely talented woman at the head of her class, and we were devastated by her death. I felt very strongly that if I could prevent other families from suffering that kind of loss, we’d be accomplishing something worthwhile,” says Larry, who is in his 80’s.

In order to effectively prevent teen drug abuse, the Cebrin Goodman Center gives about $1,000,000 in grants to 40 Chicago-area high schools to develop programs that train young people to encourage their peers to avoid drugs. This approach, says Larry, “is more effective than adults lecturing or trying to talk to teens about drugs.”

Additionally, Mr. Goodman encourages his six grandchildren to get involved. They comprise a grandchildren’s board for the center, so they can learn how philanthropy works. “They’ll be the future of our foundation one day.”

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