'Rent-a-Granny' Connects Elders with Babysitting Gigs in Fort Greene

By Janet Upadhye on October 1, 2013 8:44am 

 Beverly Emmons with Pat DuBose and Dottie Peters.
Beverly Emmons with Pat DuBose and Dottie Peters.
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┬ęPeter Angelo Simon

FORT GREENE — These grandmas don't babysit for free.

Local nonprofit, The Geezer Project, is set to launch a money-earning opportunity for seniors called “Rent-a-Granny” to connect local families with elderly babysitters.

"The program is for our seniors who are feeling vigorous and lively and want to earn extra money." said The Geezer Project founder Beverly Emmons, 69. "It also benefits families that want their children to have a relationship with an elder."

Emmons is currently recruiting a few good grannies and hopes to eventually have a roster of reliable seniors who she can call upon for childcare. Participants will be vetted with background checks.

And as for experience, Emmons feels certain her grannies will be up to the task.

"They have been chasing after children and grandchildren most of their lives," she said, adding that while the program's name implies women, men will be available to babysit as well.

Interested families who become donors to the organization ($10 a month) will gain access to the babysitter roster where they can look for a granny to rent for a yet-to-be determined cost.

Emmons says that Rent-a-Granny will be especially helpful for last-minute babysitting needs.

The service is part of her larger goal to help Fort Greene and Clinton Hill seniors stay in their homes as they age. The Geezer Project, more formally called Good Neighbors of Fort Greene and Clinton Hill, hopes to connect seniors with everything from exercise classes, grocery shopping help and rides to the theater to medical care and job opportunities.

Emmons plans for the program to be up and running by Spring 2014.

To find out more visit The Geezer Project's table at Fort Greene Park's Greenmarket every Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. or check out their webpage.

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