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Enid resident has devoted more 26,000 hours to the Foster Grandparent Program

Enid woman loves being a grandparent to many children
by Bryan Painter Modified: December 17, 2010 at 9:52 pm •  Published: December 17, 2010

— The food isn't real, but the love certainly is.

Using artificial toy food, little ones with smiles on their faces and sometimes sleep still in their eyes will bring Dorothy L. Walker an egg and piece of bacon.

“And I'll make like I'm eating it and drinking my coffee,” she said.

Both sides of this give-and-take are playing their role out of love.

You see, Walker has devoted 26,000 hours to the state Department of Human Service's Foster Grandparent Program since April 1987.

By comparison, a person could make about 305 round trips by car from New York to Los Angeles in that many hours.

In the Foster Grandparent program, an individual must be at least 55 years old, enjoy working with children, be in reasonably good health and able to serve a minimum of 15 hours per week.

Benefits include a $2.65 per hour tax-free stipend if income eligible, paid leave and holidays, a free annual physical, transportation assistance and a free daily meal.

But we've already established why Walker participates.

“I love children,” she said. “You'd be surprised how a child will make your life a lot better. It makes you look forward to something every day. There are children who really need you.”

It's not like Walker doesn't have children of her own. In fact, she raised five children, has 23 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren and seven great-great-grandchildren.

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by Bryan Painter
Assistant Local Editor
Bryan Painter, assistant local editor, has 31 years’ experience in journalism, including 22 years with the state's largest newspaper, The Oklahoman. In that time he has covered such events as the April 19, 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah...
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For additional

information about the state Department of Human Service's Foster Grandparent

Program, call



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