On Saturday, September 11, families in vehicles were cheerfully greeted at the Bethel's Family Church drive-through entrance and received a variety of giveaways and door prizes provided by the vendors, Sesame Workshop, and UnitedHealthcare. Vaccines were also provided by WellMed. Each grandparent received the Sesame "Grandparents are Grand!" guide and a special gift from UnitedHealthcare. Each child received a 12" Sesame plushie and a Sesame Story book, bookmark, and sticker. To-go snacks and lunch were provided as vehicles exited the drive-through event. Walkaround Elmo made appearances throughout the day to greet attendees and provide photo opportunities. Houston Fire Department, Station 82 provided photo opportunities for families to remember and commemorate 20 years since the 9/11 attacks in 2001.
The Church at Bethel's Family provided approximately 150 volunteers who worked diligently in the planning and implementation of the celebration. Mary D. Henry, a Bethel's Family volunteer, who cheerfully greeted grandparents and grandchildren at the gate entrance to the drive-through, shared her experience: "It was a pleasure and an honor to volunteer with UnitedHealthcare to celebrate Grandparents Day. The mission of Bethel's Family is to serve the community—the whole community. I loved seeing the joy on the faces of the grandparents and grandchildren at being so honored. One grandparent even brought back her grandchildren who were over 12 years old to be encouraged to get the vaccine. This was one day that I received more joy than I gave!"
Senior Pastor Walter August, Jr. enthusiastically commented, "We thank UnitedHealthcare for having the creativity to promote an event that brings together multiple generations in celebration of family matriarchs. This event was a joy across the board and especially for family members who are primary caregivers for their grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and others. Seeing people coming together for common cause and common good reminds us that we're always better together than apart. Bethel's Family is looking forward to working with UnitedHealthcare on other events like this in the future."
In addition to Grandparent’s Day celebrations, UnitedHealthcare and Sesame Workshop recently announced the launch of new bilingual resources to help children build resilience and thrive in their communities. Learn more about these resources here.