Get ready for the biggest “Awww!” moment you’re going to have this week. Or maybe even this month because, seriously guys: This one is a winner.
Grandparents Charlie and Maria Girsch weren’t satisfied with their options for communicating with their eight grandkids, who were (like most grandkids these days) spread out across the country. Yeah, videochat made some things easier – and there’s always the yearly visits – but the reality is that none of those options were really enough.
While most grandparents would probably just feel bummed out and complain to their friends over cocktails, the Girsches weren’t going to settle for that. Instead, they decided to follow their 40 plus years of inventing kid’s toys together by creating something to help solve this perpetual pain point of grandparents everywhere.
And no, I’m not talking about arthritis.
FamZoom is their answer to the faraway grandkid problem. It’s an app that creates an online space for family members to hang out, on their iPads. Whatever action is taken on one iPad shows up automatically on the other person’s, meaning that grandparents and grandkids can spend real-time quality-time from anywhere in the world.
Personally, I would have LOVED to have had this when I was growing up. I only got to see my grandparents once a year, at Christmas time, and it was never enough. With this app, those in between times definitely would have been less painful for all of us.
Click on “Read” and Grandma can read Jimmy a bedtime story. Click on “Doodle” and they can draw together. Click “Video” and it goes right to video chat.
Told you it was adorable.
Charlie and Maria have a pretty damn adorable story themselves and it’s not without a little scandal to liven things up. When they met in the 1960s, both of them were married… to God.
That’s right: Charlie was a priest and Maria was a nun. (Okay, I know that priests are technically not married to God but they’re definitely in a committed relationship.) After a year getting to know one another, the two decided to shed the black robes and go off together to St. Paul, Minnesota.
Good thing they did, too, and not just for families that are facing the thoroughly modern problem of living in different locales. The Girsches are apparently not only the cutest, most tech-savvy grandparents out there but they’re also shaping up to be the sweetest.
That’s because they’ve just finished an IndieGoGo campaign that exceeded its $12,000 campaign to buy iPads already loaded with FamZoom for Ronald McDonald houses across the country. For those of you who haven’t heard of them, Ronald McDonald houses are place that families of sick children stay for free while their kids are getting lifesaving treatment in hospitals.
Sum it up: Charlie and Maria Hirsch ditched the Church to get hitched, spent their lifetimes inventing toys and having kids who then had grandkids, invented an awesome app to keep families connected, and raised a bunch of money to help kids with life threatening illnesses stay connected with their families.
Verdict: The Girsches win at life.