Author Archives: Leigh Aquart

UJAMAA GRANDMAS BOARD MEETING SCHEDULE

SCHEDULE FOR UJAMAA GRANDMAS BOARD MEETINGS

 If you require any help to use Zoom, please email message@UjamaaGrandmas.com  and someone will help you learn how to use it comfortably.

Saturday, August 8, 2020, 1:00 to 3:00 PM (Zoom Host Maggie Herr)

Wednesday, September 9, 2020, 1:00 to 3:00 PM (Zoom Host Susan Gardner)

Wednesday, October 14, 2020, 1:00 to 3:00 PM (Zoom Host Yvonne Way)

Saturday, November 14, 2020, 1:00 to 3:00 PM (Zoom Host Judy Hansen)

Wednesday, December 9, 2020, 1:00 to 3:00 PM (Zoom Host Maggie Herr)

Wednesday, January 6, 2021, 1:00 to 3:00 PM (Zoom Host Susan Gardner)

Saturday, February 6, 2021, 1:00 to 3:00 PM (Zoom Host Yvonne Way)

Wednesday, March 3, 2021, 1:00 to 3:00 PM (Zoom Host Judy Hansen)

Wednesday, March 31, 2021, 1:00 to 3:00 PM (Zoom Host Maggie Herr)

Saturday, May 1, 2021, 1:00 to 3:00 PM (Zoom Host Susan Gardner)

Wednesday, June 2, 2021, 1:00 to 3:00 PM (Zoom Host Yvonne Way)

 

SEALED BID AUCTION ART SERIES WINE TOTE – RESULTS

In this first online auction we didn’t quite know what to expect and we are so very grateful for your participation and your enthusiastic bidding in our efforts to continue to raise funds for the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign.

The winning bidders have all received their Art Totes but in truth, we are all winners. Thanks to you, an additional $1167.70 will be going towards UJAMAA GRANDMAS donation to the Campaign this year.

Once again, many thanks.

CONNECTIONS CORNER

The Connections Team’s first summer picnic was successful so we’d like to try it again only in the north part of the city – Baker Park (across the river from Bowness Park)

Please join us for some fellowship, bring your own chair and lunch and we will social distance while we visit and eat our lunch together.

WHAT: 2nd Summer Picnic in the Park
WHEN: Wednesday, August 19, 11:30 AM to 2:00 PM
WHERE: in Baker Park, just off to the left side of the parking area near the washrooms in the area called “The Commons” if you look at the Park map here.

Please email message@ujamaagrandmas.com with “ Picnic” in the subject line if you plan to attend. Hostess, Marion Shadlock, will contact you with further details.

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT RE: UJAMAA GRANDMAS EVENTS

We hope this message finds all of you healthy and contentedly settled in your homes. This is an important announcement to inform you that ALL UJAMAA GRANDMAS (UG) in-person gatherings and events of any kind are cancelled until further notice. This action is being
taken to protect our members and the general public during this COVID-19 pandemic. We know
how much our members love getting together, but as you well know, that simply is not an option at this time.

The UG board will continue to meet regularly via video conferencing to deal with UG business.

If you are an introvert, I am sure you are quite happy to be directed to stay at home! We
encourage everyone to reach out to others who may need your support – safely of course, by
phone or electronically. For anyone who may feel isolated, we are all here to support you. If ANYONE needs a little chat, please reach out to us via message@ujamaagrandmas.com. Or if
you know of someone who could use a little ‘pick me up’ call, please do not hesitate to let us know through message@ujamaagrandmas.com.

Remember to be gentle with yourselves as we settle into these unusual circumstances.

Take a moment each day to think of all the things you have to be grateful for, even amidst these unsettling times. Get outside, even if it is just standing on your front step for a breath of fresh air. Get your circulation going with some light exercise. Capitalize on this opportunity to ‘create’ or ‘catch up’ by completing a project. Whether it is a crocheted dishcloth or cleaning a drawer, you will benefit from that sense of accomplishment. Look after yourselves, and above all, remember you are not alone, you are surrounded by strong intelligent women, and this too shall pass.

COVID 19 DIGITAL BOOK – AVAILABLE TO PURCHASE

Looking for something to share with young children in response to the Covid19 crisis?
The digital book, “A Teeny Tiny Virus”, was created by Jamileh Salek, an Iranian-Canadian visual artist and illustrator. The digital book is intended to help families and young children deal with the COVID 19 crisis. The book teaches children and families how they can remain positive, creative and helpful, and it reminds them of the value and beauty of their lives. It is meant for children 3 and older and for early readers. The book sells for $8.99, but Jamileh has generously offered to donate 80% of sales revenues to the SLF Grandmothers Campaign.

View the trailer for Julieta’s story and sample illustrations right here.

Purchase a copy of the digital book here.

HOME DÉCOR FABRIC SALE

THE HOME DECOR FABRIC SALE which was held the fist two weekends in July resulted in approximately $ 7086 being raised for the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign.

The sale went very well. The expenses were quite low but we won’t know the cost of the moneris machines until early August. The sale was conducted with Covid 19 safety precautions in place regarding who would be admitted, number of customers admitted, masks & hand sanitizer being mandatory, 2M distancing and several sanitizing requirements.

It was decided due to the decreasing number of customers and proceeds and the low number of volunteers not to continue with two more weekends in July.

A big thank you to all of you who supported the sale.

Marilyn Simmons
Sale Steering Committee

FABRIC AND YARN SALE

The 2020 Fabric & Yarn Sale was cancelled very close to the sale dates and the available storage homes were filled to capacity with donations for the sale.

Two of those larger homes recently needed to have their 2020 sale donations relocated to smaller storage homes and the steering committee is desperately looking for storage space of any size.

A large centrally located gratuitous commercial space would be ideal but anything you have to offer would be welcome.

We need to hear from you. Please contact fabricsale@ujamaagrandmas.com

Thank you!
Mona Jones

STRIDE TO TURN THE TIDE 2020

Message from The Stephen Lewis Foundation Stride Team:

As this Stride season comes to an end, we wanted to send a deep heartfelt thank you to each and every participant. It has been an extraordinary year with unprecedented hurdles, and you surpassed our wildest hopes and expectations for Stride. Whether you have been actively fundraising, or counting your steps and joining in solidarity, your participation has expanded the reach and awareness of the Grandmothers Campaign far and wide, making this year’s Stride a testament to the hard work and determination of grandmothers. This year the SLF National Stride to Turn the Tide had 56 teams and over 275 participants. So far, Stride has raised over $215,000!

At the beginning of March when we asked groups to postpone your events and activities, we knew there would be uncertainty and unpredictability in the months to come. But we are constantly amazed by your creativity, ingenuity, and resilience in these times. Groups quickly adapted their fundraisers and embraced virtual connections to stay linked and supported. Many groups who had never done Stride, or who hadn’t for many years, picked it up again. We tried some new things this year, like a Zoom launch call, a Campaign-wide Grandmothers team for individuals to join, and a Stride newsletter to keep you more informed with updates from our partners. But at its core, Stride was so successful this year because of you, your family and friends, and your supporters. We truly cannot thank you enough for all the work you put into Stride this year.

The month of June saw a flurry of activity across the country as Grandmothers strode, walked, ran, hiked, biked, knitted, gardened and engaged in many other pursuits as part of the annual Stride to Turn the Tide fundraiser. The Foundation reports that from solo participants and small teams of two or three to teams of more than twenty, there are over 250 grandmothers and supporters participating in virtual activities, acting in solidarity with our African grandmother partners.

Our UJAMAA GRANDMAS Stride Team has raised 51% of our $40,000 goal. Thank you for your donations, asking friends & family for support and trying a new way of raising funds for the support of Grandmothers & their families in Africa.

The Stride pages will be live online until the end of the calendar year so donors are free to continue donating well after Stride officially ends on June 30th.

Please Donate Here

SLF CAMPAIGN NEWS

Despite the limitations that Covid 19 is imposing on us, the energy and activity from the Stephen Lewis Foundation and the Grandmother’s groups continues in many impressive and creative ways.

The results of the Stride Fundraiser well surpassed the expectations of the Foundation. The latest figures I have heard is that this year Stride had 56 teams and over 275 participants. So far, Stride has raised over $215,000! And there are still funds coming in! Final totals for each group and for Stride as a whole will be shared with Team captains once they are confirmed. Some groups are continuing to stride through the summer, and Stride pages will remain live for the rest of the calendar year.

On the July Campaign Call we heard about so many great events, fundraising activities and ideas that groups have been busy with. These include online fitness classes. Please find an invitation to join a Van Gogos yoga class via Zoom here. Groups are holding online sales of crafts, cards, scarves and many other items. I was able to report on our own Bagettes online auction. In fact there are so many things to share that I have included a link to the minutes so you can read them all here.

Many of you have will have already watched the film “Youth Championing Youth: HIV will not define me” . I’d like to remind you that this is well worth seeing and informs us that what we are doing to support these young people and their peers is so worthwhile. In July SLF participated in the 2020 Virtual International AIDS Conference and this film was shown during the conference. To coincide with the conference, the SLF released a new short video of an intimate conversation filmed at the “Youth Championing Youth” Toronto premiere back in November. This conversation is available for viewing on the SLF YouTube channel and is an opportunity to hear from two young women who contributed to making the film. Watch here. Again I’d say this is a must see.

The August Campaign Call is on Thursday, August 20th at 12:30 PM Eastern Time to talk about online sales. Contact the Grandmothers Campaign team at campaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org for Zoom details, or sign up on the Grandmothers Campaign website here.

Lastly SLF staff are very excited to be working on a new and revamped website. Design is underway and they are looking forward to launching the website soon.

A happy August to all,

Alison

BAGS, BABIES & BEYOND 2020 – UPDATE

BAGS, BABIES & BEYOND is scheduled for October 16 and 17, 2020, and the Handcrafts Committee is cautiously optimistic that BB&B will be held this year. We are committed to making a firm decision by September 1 whether or not to proceed, barring any changes in regulations that require an earlier or later decision.  The sale will be scaled down with a different floor layout with all our volunteers behind tables.  In order to manage the number of people in the building at all times we are planning timed entry for customers through the use of pre-booked tickets. We are still in the planning stage and will keep you updated as things evolve. In the meantime, there are a number of things to address.

Volunteers
We do need to assess whether we would have sufficient volunteers to run even a scaled back BB&B. This is in no way a firm commitment but please indicate your willingness to participate in an event by answering this short poll here.

Product Drop-offs
Handcrafters, you are probably wondering what to do with all your creations since we have not had in-person Gatherings.  For product DROP OFFS, we have arranged to use the parking lots at the churches where we have our Gatherings. Custodians will be on hand to offer assistance but please read these procedures.

  • A station will be set up for tagging your products.
  • There will be category bins for depositing your tagged products.
  • If your items are already tagged, please bring them in a clear bag so they can be seen and deposit them into the correct bins.
  • Please sanitize your hands and wear a face covering in case social distances cannot be maintained.
  • If areas are crowded, please remain in your car until space is available.  Unfortunately, this is not a time to socialize, so please, be prepared to tag and drop your products off in a timely manner.
  • For this BB&B only, we are NOT accepting large home decor, crafting or outdoor items such as paintings, rugs, birdhouses, wreaths, wooden trays, etc.
  • Contact handcrafts@ujamaagrandmas.com if you have any questions.

WHAT: SOUTH SIDE DROP OFF
WHEN: Monday, August 10, 1:00 – 3:00 PM
WHERE: McDougall United Church, 8516 Athabasca Street SE

WHAT: NORTH SIDE DROP OFF
WHEN: Thursday, August 27, 10:00 AM – 12 NOON
WHERE: Foothills Lutheran Church, 3104 34 Ave. NW – lower parking lot, northwest of church building

Private Sale of Products
In order to meet the current COVID-19 guidelines, BB&B will be scaled down to allow for social distancing between volunteers and customers.  Therefore we are suggesting/allowing handcrafters to make private sales of their BB&B products if they wish.  In order to track sales for GST calculations and accounting, each sale must be documented with an official receipt number.  Please contact handcrafts@ujamaagrandmas.com to get specific instructions on how these transactions can best be achieved.

MESSAGE FROM PRESIDENT JAN GEGGIE

“Happiness requires something to do, something to love and something to hope for”.  This is a Swahili (East African) saying I found in ‘The Little Book of African Wisdom’ which was given to me when I became President 2 years ago.  I think this speaks to so many of our members who are creatively doing something, while “loving what you do, and doing what you love” (a guiding principle from the Handcraft Committee, I believe).  And during this time, each of us has something for which to hope – spending time, physically or not distanced, with family and friends to gradually enhance our (COVID-19) bubble, to remain healthy and active, and to find some joy each day – despite those thunder, hail and wind storms we’ve been experiencing at the time of writing.

I continue to be grateful for those leaders and members of UJAMAA GRANDMAS who have taken the challenge of continuing to support the Stephen Lewis Foundation (SLF) through many unique ventures.  Please read about our successful FIRST ‘Stride to Turn the Tide’ and how we exceeded our activity goals, while raising close to $19,000 – congratulations to our 11 team members!  We may continue in the Fall.  The Bagettes’ online auction of stunning wine totes was amazing!  Thanks to each of the artists who took a work of art to create exceptional wine totes, reflecting the art itself. These ‘one-of-a-kind’ handcrafted totes will be praised by all who see them.  We held a “live” fabric sale at the Home Decor Fabric store, at the invitation of a long-time supporter of UJAMAA GRANDMAS, Dawn Sherlock, who donated her store and fabrics to sell during 2 week-ends in July.  Thanks to the committee who very quickly established the processes for a safe ‘live and in-person’ sale.  We’ve learned a great deal for future possible sales.  The Handcraft (Bags, Babies and Beyond) Committee is exploring various ways that our annual BB&B sale might be held, thanks to the various groups who continue to support our African Grandmother sisters!

We’ve also expanded our member out-reach in several ways during July.  We held our first ‘Picnic’ at Glenmore Park thanks to our Connections Team, on a perfect Summer’s day, – we were all physically distanced, brought our own picnic lunches and spent several hours of pleasant conversation.  There may be plans for an August picnic so watch for the details, and please join us.  We also began meeting on Zoom for our South and North UG Gatherings at our usual times (the 2nd Monday morning and the 4th Thursday afternoon, respectively).  The Zoom contact is included right at the beginning of the UG August E-News.  We hope you will join us for the Gatherings, when you will have a chance to chat with other members, learn about future UJAMAA GRANDMAS events, as well as the SLF activities.  If you require any help to use Zoom, please email message@UjamaaGrandmas.com  and someone will help you learn how to use it comfortably.

May this coming month bring each of you some “happiness” – keep well and active, and connected to others in whatever manner is safe.

THANK YOU FROM THE BOARD

The Board would like to send a heartfelt “Thank you” to all the hard-working ladies on the Bagettes committee. To those of you creating and vetting patterns, sewing the bags, or contributing in any way, our warmest congratulations and appreciation. Even in this difficult environment, you have persevered and found ways to keep creating, and in so doing, you’ve generated over $2200 in sales. Congratulations and thank-you!

NEED A SPEAKER?

  • Do you belong to a group that occasionally has a speaker and perhaps you have to organize that detail?
  • Do you sometimes want some help explaining the work of SLF and UJAMAA GRANDMAS to your book club, sorority, alumni, seniors or church group, quilting circle, etc.?

Then keep in mind that UJAMAA GRANDMAS has an Education Committee of two which will happily come to your home, church, club, wherever and do a short AV presentation and talk.

Just send an inquiry to message@ujamaagrandmas.com. We look forward to hearing from you.

Anne Taylor and Susan Plesuk

FABRIC FACE MASK ANNOUNCEMENT

We would like to give a ‘shout out’ to all of you that are putting your talents to good use creating masks, gowns, garment bags and more for a wide variety of local charity groups, frontline workers, and healthcare workers. We know that from the onset of the pandemic, many of you have been hard at work with your sewing machines humming! We thank you for your positive contributions in these uncertain times. 

Well done, everyone! 

The UJAMAA GRANDMAS board would like to announce that they have adjusted their view on making masks as in accordance with the Alberta Health Services guidelines. The UG board fully supports changes announced by AHS. UJAMAA GRANDMAS has donated fabric to many of the groups that are supporting the making of masks and other items and we will continue to do whatever we can to support local groups, as well as the Stephen Lewis Foundation, in this time of need. 

Stay safe, everyone. 

CELEBRATING OUR SUCCESSES

2019 FINANCIAL RESULTS – FROM THE TREASURER
UJAMAA GRANDMAS Calgary had another very successful year, thanks to the hard work put in by our members, volunteers, committees and the Board! We’ll get to how successful in a bit, but first let’s talk about some improvements we’ve made to finance-related items.

  1. The Annual budget was completed prior to the end of 2019, despite a tight timeline for our committees. Kudos to them for fitting this into their schedules; we now have a solid place to start in reviewing our operational expenses.
  2. The Sales Finance Committee was re-structured and welcomed new members. They accomplished their mandate by improving controls around payment collection at our major sales, working with the other committees to ensure no loss of funds this year!
  3. A robust review of our insurance coverage was completed. That review identified a need tO increase coverage to match our annual revenue, and also confirmed that we continue to carry liability insurance that covers all of us (members, volunteers and the general public) at all of our events and gatherings.
  4. We have streamlined the expense reimbursement process through e-Transfer payments, making it more efficient while still ensuring UG funds are safe. Approximately 95% of expense payments are now via e-Transfer.

Annual Gross Revenue from fundraising activities $116,820:

    1. Fabric & Yarn Sale……….$48,870
    2. Handcrafts………………….$46,880
    3. DeSonus……………………….$5,700
    4. SAIT Convocations…………$3,665
    5. Bagettes………………………..$3,230
    6. Bake Sale………………………$1,680
    7. BluesFest…………………………$490
    8. Ten Thousand Villages…….$415
    9. All others…………………………$870
    10. Donations (all sources)….$5,020

Annual Gross Expenses………………..$15,330
2019 Donations to SLF………………….105,000