By Victor Blackwell
First Coast News
JACKSONVILLE, FL -- Dianne Robinson has a full house.
Nana, as they call her, cares for her four granddaughters and her two year old great-granddaughter.
"I've had Tiffany for 18 years. Princess, Queen Neferteria, Precious, baby Anaya," said Robinson.
Robinson took the kids when she learned that her daughter was neglecting them.
She loves her children, but at 65 rearing five young ones is neither easy nor cheap.
"When I buy one pair of shoes, I've gotta buy five pairs of shoes. That's not including Nana. The kids come first,” said Robinson.
Robinson and the kids rely on support programs and community centers. Since 1989, when Robinson took in her first grandchild, she's discovered a network of resources to help her family. She knows not everyone in her position knows what to do to get help.
"It was out of this need that we saw that, hey, we've gotta provide some resources for these families and get involved," said Robinson.
So, she founded Nanas and Papas Raising Grands.
The organization offers information and support for non-traditional families that need help finding food, clothing or training resources.
Robinson also operates a 24-hour help line from her home.
"I don't like it 'cause I can't get any sleep," said Queen Neferteria.
“A lot of times, people just need a listening ear. They need a hug. They need a kiss. They need to know that someone is there anytime that they may need them," Robinson added.
"One of the things I like about Nana the most, is how much she cares for you individually and how much she cares for our community collectively,” said Martha Cox with Family Foundations who works closely with Robinson and her organization..
Robinson will tell you that the hard days are worth it. This isn't the retirement she imagined, but she wouldn’t have it any other way.
"I'm loving every minute of it," said Robinson.
First Coast News