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Foster Grandparent Program Special Events

Special Events and Recognitions

Upcoming Special Events

The Golden Jubilee

2022 will mark the 50th Anniversary of the Foster Grandparent Program (FGP) with Pepperdine University. Leading up to 2022, the FGP Advisory Committee is planning fundraisers and special events to commemorate the Golden Jubilee! If you would like to participate in the Planning Committee, contact Dr. Shanetta Weatherspoon directly at Shanetta.Weatherspoon@pepperdine.edu or at 310-568-5798.



National Senior Citizen's Day

August 21st

On August 19, 1988, President Ronald Reagan declared August 21st as National Senior Citizen's Day! National Senior Citizen's Day recognizes the achievements, services, and contributions of seniors in our communities. It is a day to show appreciation to all seniors across the United States! 

How to Observe #SeniorCitizensDay

  • Contact your friends, family, and neighbors over the age of 55 and share your gratitude! 
  • Use #SeniorCitizensDay to post on social media! 
  • As a senior citizen, check your local stores and restaurants for discounted prices and promotions for seniors! 

Past Special Events


World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

June 15th

What is Elder Abuse? 

Under California law, elder abuse can be both criminal and civil. Criminal elder abuse occurs where any person who knows that a person is an elder and willfully causes or permits any elder to suffer, or inflicts unjustifiable physical pain or mental suffering on the elder. It also covers situations where a person willfully causes or permits the elder to be placed in a situation in which elder's health is endangered. (Penal Code Section 368) Civil law defines civil elder abuse to mean physical abuse, neglect, financial abuse, abandonment, isolation, abduction, or other treatment resulting in physical harm or pain or mental suffering. It also means the deprivation by a care custodian of goods or services that are necessary to avoid physical harm or mental suffering. (Welfare & Institutions Code Section 15610.07)

How to report Elder Abuse? 

Immediately, or as soon as possible, make a telephone report to elder welfare services and/or to a Police or Sheriff's department near you. 

Elder Abuse Contact Information: Call (877) 477 - 3646 

For more information about elder abuse in Los Angeles County, visit http://da.lacounty.gov/seniors

Pepperdine's Foster Grandparent Program Efforts with COVID-19

The CDC found older adults to be of higher risk for COVID-19. While our Foster Grandparent volunteers are social distancing, all of the volunteers continue to suffer from the effects of loneliness and low to extremely low-income. In home isolation, many of our Foster Grandparents are unable to obtain essential supplies, like water, non-perishable food, and cleaning supplies.

With this in mind, Pepperdine's FGP partnered with a local organization, True Essence of Love (Charlotte White) and her initiative of Operation Putting Love to Work during this time of great need. Charlotte White and her team donated over 280 bags of essential supplies. Each bag included toilet paper, cleaning supplies, food, and water for each of our Foster Grandparent volunteers. In April and May, Operation Putting Love to Work and Pepperdine's FGP joined together to coordinate no-contact pick-ups and deliveries to each of our Foster Grandparent volunteers.

Here are a list of ways you can continue to contribute during this crisis:

1. Donate supplies: Supplies that are needed include water, non-perishable foods (i.e., canned goods, peanut butter, rice, beans, etc.), and disinfectant/cleaning supplies (i.e., Clorox wipes, tissue paper, and paper towels). All donates can be delivered to the collection zone in Lakewood, California. Please email Shanetta.Weatherspoon@pepperdine.edu if you are interested in this option, so we can coordinate your generous delivery.

2. Make no-contact deliveries: You may volunteer to make no-contact deliveries (no more than five)! Our Foster Grandparent volunteers live across Los Angeles Country between zip codes 90001 to 91105 (see attached Los Angeles Zip Code Map). Please email Monica.Pereda@pepperdine.edu if you are interested in this option, so that we can coordinate your generous support to volunteers in your proximity!

3. Donate: You may donate to the emergency fund during this crisis using this link: https://give.pepperdine.edu/gsep/fostergrandparents. (Designate "ER Fund" in the notes section). Your contribution will support our program during this crisis!

Check out our feature in Los Angeles Sentinel, recognizing the program's efforts in the midst of COVID-19! Click the link and scroll to A-12. 

  GSEP Give2Pepp Carnival Give Night

On Wednesday, March 11th, 2020, Pepperdine honored its 1937 founding with a 37-hour celebration, as Pepperdine faculty, staff, alumni, students, and community members give back to their Pepperdine passions!

On Tuesday, March 10th, from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm, the Graduate School of Education and Psychology participated in the Give2Pepp tradition by throwing the Give2Pepp Carnival Give Night. The Foster Grandparent Program teamed up with Alumni Relations and GSEP to support the event with our Foster Grandparent volunteers! The Foster Grandparent Program hosted a booth at the carnival, where many of our Foster Grandparents attended and volunteered themselves! 

If you would like to learn more about Pepperdine's Give2Pepp Tradition, please visit https://www.pepperdine.edu/giving/give2pepp/.


Pepperdine Mourns the Loss of FGP Volunteer

Pepperdine's Foster Grandparent Program mourns the loss of Grandfather Frank Edward Staten. Grandfather Staten, our dear friend, United States Army veteran, and exemplary community servant passed away on December 21st, 2019. Frank Edward Staten was a valued volunteer for over three years and he will truly be missed by all. 

Grandpa Staten, as he was affectionately called by the children, was a volunteer at the Girls Club of Los Angeles (GCLA), where he worked daily in the early childhood program. Grandpa Staten was proud of his commitment and made a lastly impact in the lives of the children and families he served. He was also a Peer Companion to six other Foster Grandparents. Even as he coped with his own health challenges, he was dedicated to building community with other Foster Grandparent volunteers by lending an ear and support when needed. Mr. Staten surely had the "gift of help."


"The work that I am doing with the Foster Grandparent Program keeps me going through it all." – Mr. Frank Edward Staten

Help us celebrate Grandfather Frank Edward Staten's life and service on Thursday, January 9th. Call Monica Pereda at 310-568-5595 for more information. 

Foster Grandparent Program Featured on The Kelly Clarkson Show

On October 22nd, 2019, two of our Foster Grandparents, Grandma Patricia Ford and Grandma Delores Williams, and our Program Director, Dr. Shanetta Weatherspoon, made their television debut on The Kelly Clarkson Show! In case you missed it, click the link to see the incredible impact our Foster Grandparents are making in the community!

kelly clarkson

2018-2020 Awards and Recognitions

In 2019, the Foster Grandparent Program was featured in the President's Report 2019, by the President of Pepperdine University, Jim Gash. Click the link to see our feature in "The Ascent". In the 2018-2019 Fiscal Year, the Foster Grandparent Program was awarded a number of achievements and recognitions.  The program was awarded the NACo Achievement Award in 2019 for being an innovative county government program.  Also, the Foster Grandparent Program implemented a Trauma-Informed Culturally-Responsive (TICR) Training for Mental Health Awareness Month on May 24th, 2019.  75 of our Foster Grandparents, as well as more than 25 staff, faculty, and community members learned strategies that promote their mentees' socio-emotional health and connectedness with others in the community, including their teachers, peers, and parents, in order to be able to provide the support needed to prevent negative outcomes like suicide.  Thank you, Dr. Isaiah Pickens, of IOpening Enterprises, for hosting the training and improving our Foster Grandparents' ability to handle their own personal trauma and mental health, as well as their mentees'.  In addition, thank you to the California Mental Health Services Authority for awarding the Foster Grandparent Program the CalMHSA Grant, allowing this training and future trainings to be implemented relating to mental health awareness and suicide prevention. 

Additional Recognitions

We would also like to give thanks to: 

  • The Corporation for National and Community Services, 
  • Our Advisory Board Members, 
  • Our Station Partners, 
  • Pepperdine University's Graduate School of Education and Psychology,
  • Pepperdine University's Research and Sponsored Programs, 
  • The Graduate School of Education and Psychology's Budget Planning and Student Finance Department, and 
  • All of our Foster Grandparent Volunteers! 

Thank you for your dedication and commitment to the Foster Grandparent Program in the 2018-2019 Fiscal Year. We look forward to teaming with you for the 2019-2020 Fiscal Year! 


Credit to the Photographer
Rasheed Prescott