Jennifer Lembo starts ‘Adopt a Grandparent’ Charity in Honor Of Precious Late Grandmother

 

 

By Jillian Risberg 

 

This vulnerable group of people is often taken for granted or forgotten, as they battle loneliness and isolation. For Jennifer Lembo it’s personal.

 

When her beloved grandmother — who she visited every Sunday in a nursing home (brought her goodies, did her laundry) passed on April 4 (the five-year anniversary of her mom’s death), Lembo knew she had to do something. 

 

“Her roommate never had family come see her,” says the owner/hairstylist at Shear Temptation in Whippany. “I called her grandma Margaret.  I bought her snacks too every week. She was a part of our visit. When my gram died, my heart broke for grandma Margaret because she would have no one.”

 

When she saw a post that a senior was going to be alone on Easter and needed food, Lembo says she stepped up immediately and bought her food for the holiday.  

“Then I started to think how many grandma Margarets are out there,” says the hairstylist. “So I started ‘Adopt a Grandparent.’” 

 

These are especially trying times, leaving seniors feeling more deserted than ever, especially during the early days of the pandemic and lockdown. This is a positive option to help combat those feelings amongst the elderly.

Local seniors who may need help with meals, groceries, lawn, shoveling, raking, visitations, clothing or anything else will be partnered with caring individuals (who may or may not have grandparents of their own) to keep them feeling loved and taken care of. 

 

According to Lembo, her group also gets kids and teenagers involved.

Starting young to establish such a warm, caring connection and selflessly change lives can be a transformative experience. 

 

“And mostly the community,” the hairstylist says this community is amazing. “They always step up to help others.”


In turn, adoptees enjoy the company and shared stories of the older generation, creating meaningful, long-lasting friendships.


“We will try our best to find a match,” Lembo says.

Her gram was 102 when she died. 

“She was a hard worker. We lived with her most of my growing up, and shared a room when I was little,” says the salon owner. “We had our own beds but she always made my side special. We were very close, even as adults. I always promised I would take care of her.”

 

People can take part by joining Lembo’s Facebook group to help seniors in need. 

 

Call/visit your adopted grandparent, exchange pictures, send letters/cards.

“The group helps seniors that can’t afford food, require assistance or (are) just lonely,” the hairstylist says so far they have a senior with enough food for four months. “Our wonderful volunteers —donated one month of Meals on Wheels, gift cards to ShopRite and restaurants.”

 

Lembo frequently and easily opens up her heart when she sees someone suffering, with the belief that sitting idly by is not the answer — instead she offers hope and love for a whole other narrative.  

 

American abolitionist, women’s rights activist, Native American rights activist, novelist, journalist, Lydia M. Child said: “An effort made for the happiness of others lifts us above ourselves.”

 

At the end of the day, Lembo always pays it forward any way she can. Doing so creates a beautiful chain reaction that infuses positivity around us. 

 

Take the lead in setting your own random good deed in motion, not expecting anything in return, and watch.  

“I know my mom is proud of me for everything I have done for my gram,” she says. “And I know my gram is extremely proud of me for helping others. I hope this group takes off (and) every senior gets our help in every way.”

 

To learn more, join the Facebook group, Adopt A Grandparent- Cedar Knolls, Morristown, Hanover Township, Parsippany. 

 

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