Author Archives: Leigh Aquart


We have again been offered the opportunity to distribute robes at the SAIT Spring Convocation for an honorarium. It’s a very worthwhile event. Last year our honorarium was $2900.

This year, the dates are June 12 to 14 with one shift on June 12, two on June 13, and one on June 14 for a total of four shifts.

  1. Tues June 12 –  11:00 AM to 4:30 PM
  2. Wed June 13 –  7:30 AM to 12:30 PM
  3. Wed June 13 –  11:00 AM to 4:30 PM
  4. Thurs June 14 –  7:30 AM to 12:30 PM

Each shift is about 5 hours with a break between handing out the robes and collecting them at the end of the event. Ten volunteers are required for each of the four shifts.
This is a great opportunity for those of you who dearly want to help out but are not crafters: all you need is a good pair of shoes and the ability to read labels. There will be ample time in the middle of the shifts to socialize and meet other UJAMAA GRANDMAS.


  • Busy times will be near the beginning and end of each shift while robes are being distributed and collected.
  • During the 2+ hour ceremonies, volunteers should be able to leave for a coffee or a meal on campus or nearby.
  • Expect lots of walking (don’t forget your Fitbits) and some light lifting.
  • Wear neat casual clothing and comfortable walking shoes.
  • Bring reading glasses if you require them as each gown is labelled for a particular graduate.

Please note that times may change slightly. To sign up for your preferred shifts,



Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign of the Stephen Lewis Foundation.

Google and scroll down to the Beds WithOut Breakfast program.

This note is written to encourage hosting or supporting the program when making travel plans for a weekend away or a longer cross-Canada tour.

How does it work?

Information is on the Grandmother to Grandmother website.
Link with Events at the top of the home page. Scroll down to Beds WithOut Breakfast.
There is a complete list and description of hosts on the website. Look at the variety of sites!

This program is about Grandmothers across the country opening their homes to fellow Grandmothers, volunteers, their families and travel companions for 1-3-day overnight stays. Advance planning helps. The host will discuss arrangements about arrival and departure usually leaving guests to make their own daytime plans.

Interested hosts contact for details on getting registered.
Would-be guests may contact Linda or the hosts directly as specified on the list.
Linda Taberner of G Force has coordinated the program and outlines key details on the website.

The host suggests the fee. Guests make their payment directly to their host. The host then submits the donation along with a donor form to the SLF in their own name to receive a tax receipt. The host gets a tax receipt as a benefit for hosting.

A tribute option:

I like to click on the large red DONATE button on the website after the guest leaves.
I make a One-time donation and send a Tribute – In – Honour card to the guest.
The Foundation sends an e-card or printed card and I get to thank the guest for making the donation on my behalf.

What are your stories? Let’s expand the dialogue!

For the last few years, there has been an annual summary for the Ujamaa Grandmas E-News about the program. Do you have a story to share? Where have you stayed with BWOB? Be in touch.

There is currently a list of 5 Calgary host homes on the website along with homes in Didsbury, Holden and Lacombe. Are you ready to host as well?

Personally, I have been thinking of a road trip from Calgary to Winnipeg. Much of the delight in planning may be to see who is hosting along the way and then try to arrange the trip accordingly.

Susan Podlog for Ujamaa Grandmas


Thankful, grateful, appreciative – these are all synonyms that I’m sure express members’ feelings for the work of the Fabric and Yarn Sale Steering Committee, and the hundreds of volunteer hours given by our members, family members, friends, Youth Central students (who were delightful and energetic), and the organizations that received donations from us, after the sale.  The quiet energy during the set-up in all rooms was palpable – and then the exuberant energy of our customers was very obvious.  Well done, all who were involved!  Our Sale is becoming even more well-known, as evidenced by the greater bulk of donations, and the happy shoppers who filled their large bags to overflowing.  Who thought we would exceed last year’s sales funds of over $43,000 until we saw all those donations? The final gross revenue of over $55,000 is amazing!

Recently I met with a few members of our Ujamaa Connections Team.  It was so encouraging to learn of their plans of new events to engage more of us in new or revitalized activities.  These will ‘nurture’ members in countless ways – another of Ujamaa Grandmas’s overall goals.  Many thanks to the 140 members who responded to their survey in February, and to the Team for contacting 85 of you in follow-up for further information.  Stay tuned for the themes that became evident during the Team’s communication with you.

In the ‘must read’ book, Powered by Love, A Movement Emerges (chapter 5) describes the evolution of many, many Grandmothers 2 Grandmothers groups from across Canada.  Ujamaa Grandmas is part of this dynamic movement – we too will keep evolving so that we’ll continue to successfully support the Stephen Lewis Foundation and our sister grandmothers in Africa to end the AIDS pandemic.

Many of you have suggested innovative fundraising projects, which will hopefully encourage some of our non-crafting members to participate.  The SLF’s new Fundraiser Catalogue is now available in the Members Only section.  And what a delightful article about ‘Beds WithOut Breakfast’.  With Summer approaching, this is an excellent way to champion the Stephen Lewis Foundation.

Happy Spring (soon?)