NYC grandmas meet for 1st time after 10 months of bonding on the phone

BROOKLYN (WABC) -- A group of grandmothers and great-grandmothers from Brooklyn met for the first time in 10 months.

The group of Black women in their 60s, 70s, and 80s have been talking about everything in their lives since October: Husbands and grandchildren, health, work, life in Fort Greene over the decades, racism, sexism, music, food, times of plenty, and times of want. Their secrets and their dreams.

They were connected through the Sharing Network, a community-based project of One Community, designed to alleviate social isolation for older people living in Fort Greene and Clinton Hill.

Many of the women live in public housing and don't have access to the internet.

The women meet often, usually six, seven, eight times a week, and they know each others' quirks.



They could recognize each others' voices from across a room, but they've never seen each other, not even on video. All of their meetings have been via phone.

Now, vaccinated and feeling more confident, the women of the Sharing Network met each other for the first time in person.

"I'm a COVID survivor so it was a lifeline for me to have a connection, to have a sisterhood and that's what I loved about them," said Cynthia Parks.

They shared laughs and lunch together at the iconic Junior's Restaurant on Flatbush Avenue.

Along with cheesecake, they were able to put faces behind the names and voices.

While this group was the first for One Community, there are now roughly 15 others. Some of the women even belong to two or three and spend hours on the phone.

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