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Country singer Kellie Pickler is well known for her support of charities such as the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and the USO, but lately she has had the elderly on her mind, and has been devoting her time and money to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).

“I love working with different charities, but the big foundations and organizations already get so much exposure and so much attention,” Pickler told CMT recently. “I wanted to bring awareness to a smaller charity that might not have gotten that kind of attention had I not helped them. The AARP is amazing, and I can really relate to it. My grandparents raised me, so I know the struggles that they have to go through financially and legally and all that.”

And the 19-year-old singer has certainly been putting her money where her mouth is – she donated $25,000 of prize money from her appearance on Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader to the charity, and recently performed at the AARP-sponsored Grand Rally outside the Capitol building in Washington, DC.

“It was just to bring awareness and educate people about the situation,” she said. “There were so many grandmas and grandpas there at the show. I spoke on my experience and living with my grandparents, sang a couple of songs, and actually performed a song I wrote about my grandmother. It was really a magical day, a very special day. What a lot of people don’t know is that four-and-a-half million kids in America are raised by their grandparents, and over seven million are part-time with their grandparents. It’s really amazing to see how much those numbers have grown, and really sad. It’s great to get out and help these elderly people who are struggling but want to take on the responsibility of raising their grandkids because it’s better than having them thrown into foster care.”

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