FORT MYERS, Fla. - Many grandparents these days are finding themselves as the primary providers for grandkids.One Southwest Florida woman is giving her time, and money, to ease their new found worries.
Yolanda Beckworth's mission is simple.
"We try and keep the grandparents heads above water," she said Friday.
She knows how it feels to face parenting, just when you're starting to slow down. Beckworth became the full-time guardian of two of her grandkids, after her daughter was murdered in 2002.
"I had one teenager, and another one was turning a teenager, and it was hard. It was hard," she said.
But Beckworth's tragedy is now the momentum behind the Ol'Geta Beckworth Foundation, a non-profit helping grandparents ride out the legal and financial hardships of parenting. Beckworth serves as a one-woman army, helping more than 200 grandparents in the organization's eight years.
Teresa Beckers is one such story.
"When my daughter passed, it was a whole nightmare. Going through judges and judges, and one judge to another judge," Beckers said.
Beckworth helped her through three years of court battle, ultimately ending in full custody of her now ten-year old grandson, Tommy.
"She's a godsend. I don't know how I can repay her back," Beckers said.
While Beckworth's office is cramped and the pay, next to nothing, she says the ultimate payment is every time she sees grandkids end up where they belong.
"I helped keep this family together. That's just a joy," Beckworth said.
If you'd like to contribute to the Ol'Geta Beckworth Foundation, call 239-243-8999.