Author Archives: Leigh Aquart

MONTHLY JOINT GATHERINGS VIA ZOOM

There was no Monthly Joint Gathering Zoom Meeting held in December, 2020.
Items from the November meeting that members can still consider are the following:

  • Members could do a Show & Tell at the Monthly Zoom Meetings of what they are making. It would be fun for everyone to see what is going on and might inspire others.
  • Looking for a Member who might like to provide a ‘Facebook Tutorial’ for members who could use a little guidance in that area. If anyone would be willing to do that, please contact message@ujamaagrandmas.com
  • We are looking for people interested in being on the Nominating Committee to find Members to serve as Board Members next year.  Yvonne Way and Louise Breadner are currently on this committee. If interested, please contact message@ujamaagrandmas.com and your email will be forwarded to them.

Check the E-News each month for the Zoom link. 

Wednesdays/Date Time Main Facilitator C0-Facilitator
January 20, 2021 7:30 PM Annette Koelwyn Yvonne Way
February 17, 2021 10:00 AM Leslie Buckle Judy Hansen
March 17, 2021 1:00 PM Yvonne Way Annette Koelwyn
April 21, 2021 7:30 PM Judy Hansen Jan Geggie
May 19, 2021 10:00 AM Liz Forseth Janice Lambert
June 16, 2021 1:00 PM Leslie Buckle Liz Forseth
July 21, 2021 7:30 PM

BAGETTES UPDATE

Thanks to Zoom, BAGETTES met twice a month during 2020.  We encouraged one another with show and tell, tips and tricks, pattern testing and challenges. We also shared via our Facebook group.  In the summer, we were able to meet safely outside twice to share supplies and see things in the flesh. This ability to work together and connect on a regular basis made a significant impact on our emotional well-being during a difficult year.  We plan to carry on and we are currently working on two new patterns for 2021 release. We have begun a series of bags recognizing our grandmothers. There are two so far; a French grand-mère, RYLEY and an Icelandic grandmother, AMMA. It seems we are diverse and there is more to come.
 
FUNDRAISING
An ART TOTE challenge using our wine tote pattern resulted in the completion of 10 unique, art-inspired, wine totes. These totes were featured in an online auction in July and resulted in proceeds of $1167.70.  We felt that the items that went to BB&B were our best yet and despite the difficult times, many bags and pouches were sold. 
 
ONLINE PATTERN SALES
With so many bag makers at home, 2020 was a great year for the BAGETTES’ pattern store on Etsy. https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/UJAMAABAGETTES
A few milestones were met and passed that allowed us to raise a cheer.
  • Four new patterns were released in 2020 and reception to those patterns was very exciting thanks to some help from our strongest supporter, Emmaline Bags of Spruce Grove, Alberta. When Janelle puts BAGETTES in her newsletter that goes to 25,000 bag makers, visits to our shop and sales sky rocket.
  • As of this writing, 1350 copies of our patterns were sold in 2020 – 53% of those sales were from our new patterns.
  • Revenue for 2020 passed the $10,000 mark in early December and continues to climb. This revenue is gross – does not take into account cost of supplies, fees, or taxes.
  • The first Etsy sale was on December 31, 2019. Since then, more than 1620 patterns have sold in the shop. This includes 42 copies of Backpack Bundle which is 3 patterns but is counted as one sale in the count. 
  • More than 400 shoppers have favourited our shop.  This affects the search dynamics sending more shoppers to our store. 
  • Ratings of our patterns remain five-star with almost 70 reviews.
  • We rebranded with a new banner and logo thanks to the support of Vancouver Island artist Anvil Island Design. In January we plan to do a formal launch of this new brand with a virtual party – aka sale.
If you have UJAMAA friends who share a common handmade endeavour, we strongly encourage you to try this form of meeting and sharing. Your group need not be formal. No one needs to be in charge other than to schedule and book the zoom nor does there need to be any high degree of organizing. Just get together virtually to work on your chosen interest, share ideas and patterns, chat, connect. You might be surprised at what may happen.

SLF NEWS

I’m sure most of you would by now have explored the new Grandmothers Campaign website. There are several new features which are designed to make connecting and finding information even easier than before. The event calendar Is one new feature. Upcoming Events – Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign . Here members and supporters can find all upcoming events across the Campaign in one place. The calendar provides a “month at a glance” and longer view for looking and planning ahead. The word “Online” will be added to the titles of events that are open for anyone to attend to make them more identifiable as online events for people browsing the calendar, There will be a standard “Upcoming Events” section in each monthly Granny Bulletin that links to the event calendar as a reminder to readers to peruse the calendar and to encourage all groups to add their upcoming events and activities to the calendar.

Another great new feature is the online sales marketplace. Online sales continue to grow across the Campaign and you can browse the products here. https://grandmotherscampaign.org/marketplace/

The Campaign Call topic is Goals and Plans for 2021. On January 21, 2021 at 10:30 PM – 12:30 PM MTN. Join the group to share hopes and goals for the coming year! Email: campaign@stephenlewisfoundation.org to RSVP.

Happy browsing!

Alison

HANDCRAFTS UPDATE

COME JOIN US
Attention all Handcrafters – we have created a new Facebook Group just for us. It is called UJAMAA MAKERS YYC. Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2683255965337330

This Facebook group is intended to build community and provide support and ideas for our Handcraft Community in order to produce products for BAGS, BABIES & BEYOND. We will be posting links and files for our Custodian reports and links to projects you might be interested in. We are hoping you will post photos of what you are currently making and add content you would like to see on the page. We also would like to go live with the Rooms features so we can get together to do some projects.

RESOURCES and FEEDBACK
Every year custodians review what sold and what was held over. You can find specifics on the website – http://ujamaagrandmas.com/handcrafts/resources/ – and review the type of product you are interested in making.
Or read the all inclusive document 2020 BB&B feedback
These resources will also be available on the new UJAMAA MAKERS YYC Facebook page.

2021 FABRIC & YARN SALE

  • All the UJAMAA GRANDMAS storage homes are holding pre-sales of donations two years old or older as there is limited capacity for them to accept much more.
  • The short term remedy is to organize a Sale restricted to the current donations and postpone the traditional Annual Sale format until 2022.
  • The Sale space needs to be cost effective and large enough to meet the COVID-19 guidelines.
  • February 2021 or March 2021 is proposed at the Magic of Christmas warehouse location #1 – 4416 5 Street NE, Calgary
  • Nothing is definite until the Venue and the Sale dates are confirmed and both are still in the negotiation phase.
  • The Sale may be revenue neutral but other local charities would benefit and the storage homes would be emptied.
  • The Sale cannot materialize without volunteers so please send your contact information to fabricsale@ujamaagrandmas.com if are willing to help.

Thank you in advance for any help you give.

Good health and much happiness to everyone in 2021.

MESSAGE FROM PRESIDENT JAN GEGGIE

Warmest wishes for a safe and healthy coming year – I believe that we have learned much during 2020, albeit with some undulations.  We’ve learned the power of new ways of caring for one another and celebrating positive moments in our day-to-day lives – UJAMAA GRANDMAS members have certainly done this, as you’ve read.  Thank you for your willingness to adapt, with wonderful results to nurture each other, and to fundraise in several innovative ways.

We received the following from Ruth-Anne Seburn, on behalf of the Grandmothers Campaign team and the Stephen Lewis Foundation (SLF), after they received our most recent donation of $30,000.  “All of us at the SLF are continually inspired and grateful for the leadership, ingenuity, and commitment you bring to UJAMAA GRANDMAS. Your involvement and energy strengthens Grandmothers Campaign and enriches our solidarity movement.  During this exceptional year, we’ve all been reminded of the importance of togetherness.  Your generosity and solidarity are woven into the fabric of everything we do and have contributed to the strength, power and impact of our SLF community.  With your support, our partners have accomplished remarkable feats in the intersection of two intersecting pandemics, HIV and AIDS and COVID-19.  With heartfelt gratitude, we thank you.  Wishing you a happy and a safe holiday season.

May we continue to find joy in unexpected ways to support the SLF in 2021.  I wish you and yours good health, peace and the comfort of knowing that we are caring for others in a profound way.

E-NEWS SURVEY MONKEY RESULTS

A couple of months ago we asked you to participate in a survey regarding our E-News. We had a very encouraging number of responses and were pleased that overall the readers are anywhere from ‘satisfied’ to ‘very happy’ with the way the E-News is being currently issued. Thank you so much to all of you who participated. Our continued aim is to put together an E-News that you look forward to reading and find informative. We continue to welcome your suggestions.

TORONTO GRANDMOTHERS FUNDRAISER

As mentioned in the December E-News, one of our members advised us of the Toronto Grandmothers Partnering with Africa fundraiser. They have a selection of beautiful Scarves and Pashminas for sale on their website. Each item sells for $20 plus shipping costs. Check them out HERE.

EDUCATION & AWARENESS COMMITTEE

Save the date:  The Education and Awareness Committee invites you to join us on February 24th at 7:00 PM for a presentation by Bianca Marais.

Bianca will share information about her life growing up in apartheid South Africa,  her relationship with her black nanny, her work with an SLF project for grandmothers in Soweto, and her two novels which are based on her experiences – “Hum If You Don’t Know the Words and If You Want to Make God Laugh”.  In the February E-News there will be a zoom link to the presentation as well as a link for donations to the Stephen Lewis Foundation.  Remember that all funds raised go to assisting the African grandmothers who need our support now more than ever as they try to navigate the incredibly difficult challenges of HIV/AIDS and COVID-19. Tax receipts will be issued for donations of $20 or more.

WHAT: Zoom Presentation by Bianca Marais
WHEN: Wednesday, February 24, 7:00 PM
ZOOM: Check February E-News for link.

The Education and Awareness Committee would like to share the following link to a list of books about various countries in Africa: https://www.lonelyplanet.com/articles/african-literature

Anyone interested in a book club? Please reply to message@ujamaagrandmas.com

CONNECTIONS CORNER

As most of you know, the Connections Team has had its wings clipped since the pandemic came upon us. We had scheduled some Winter Walks in November and December but given further restrictions and anticipation of colder weather in January, we have decided to take a break for now. We will reassess the situation for February.

In the meantime, the Connection Team would like to wish you all a peaceful and safe Holiday Season. Who would have thought a year ago, life would be so different and day to day connections between us all would be a thing only of dreams. In the meantime, it is one day at a time gathering strength where we can. We have made it this far and thankfully, there is some light at the end of the tunnel. Please take care of yourselves.

UG WALKING GROUP

The indoor walking group that meets on Tuesday and Thursday mornings at Market Mall is suspended until the Alberta Health Services Emergency is cancelled.

Thank you for your support, be safe & stay healthy.
Sandra Burgess

FRIENDSHIP CORNER

With another month passing I hope all of you are feeling safe, healthy and as content as possible. With the implementation of masks being mandatory in Calgary, I thought this little prayer might be a nice read for you. You can read it referencing a Higher Power or just the positive spirit of those around you. I made some slight alterations, but credit for the original prayer goes to Rev. Richard Bott.

Face Mask Prayer
As I prepare to go into the world, help me to see the sacramento nature of wearing this cloth. 

Let it be a tangible and visible way of living love for my neighbours, as I love myself.
Since my lips will be covered, uncover my heart, that people would see my smile in the crinkles around my eyes. 

Since my voice may be muffled, help me to speak clearly, not only with my words, but with my actions.
As the elastic touches my ears, remind me to listen carefully and caringly to all those I meet. 

May this simple piece of cloth be shield and banner, and may each breath that it holds, be filled with love.
Amen

Stay well everyone.

PLANNING A FUNDRAISER?

Our UJAMAA GRANDMAS members have many creative and lucrative ideas for new and ongoing fundraisers; the UJAMAA GRANDMAS Board sincerely thanks everyone for their tireless efforts and ingenuity.

To contribute to the success of our UJAMAA GRANDMAS events, the Sales and Finance Committee has worked hard, combined with direction from the Board, in creating a framework to be used when planning fundraisers. We are pleased to announce a new set of forms to assist in the successful planning of future UJAMAA GRANDMAS fundraising events.

  • The first of these forms must be completed and submitted 8 to 10 weeks prior to any upcoming event.
  • Following the first forms, there are additional forms to guide you through the planning process.
  • These additional forms should be submitted at least 4 weeks prior to your event.
  • Once we are all familiarized with the process, these forms will be a great help in the planning of our events!

A reminder that in keeping up with these unusual times, the UJAMAA GRANDMAS Board has developed COVID-19 Risk Management forms, including the AHS Screening Questionnaire for any UJAMAA GRANDMAS in-person and on-line events. These were designed to make it easier for anyone planning an event and laying the foundation to keep everyone safe.

Please email “message@ujamaagrandmas.com” to obtain the required forms or for more information.

NOMINATING COMMITTEE

Please note that the Board is looking for one or two Members to join the Nominating Committee. This committee would help find individuals to fill the two vacant positions on the current Board (ie. the Events Liaison plus a Member at Large).

If you are interested in being on the Nominating Committee, or in filling the Board position of either the Events Liaison or Member at Large, please contact message@ujamaagrandmas.com and your email will be forwarded to the appropriate person.

FASHION SHOW UPDATE

FASHION WITH PURPOSE

Tentatively set for Saturday, September 25, 2021 (not September 18 as previously reported). Further information will be provided next year as the planning process occurs.

MONTHLY GATHERINGS UPDATE

MONTHLY GATHERINGS – VIA ZOOM

Summer Gatherings by Zoom
The monthly Gatherings were held via Zoom during July and August, 2020.  We ran 4 Gatherings with 2 in July and 2 in August (North and South).  The attendance at the Gatherings was small, but very engaged!  We had a good time greeting each other and learning about what is happening in our UJAMAA GRANDMAS world.

The various committees are doing a marvellous job at keeping up the good work and finding very creative solutions to carry on during the current pandemic.  The Gatherings were inspiring.

Upcoming Gatherings in the Fall
At the August Gatherings we observed that all members could join via Zoom regardless of where they lived (North or South), and we also noticed that the Committee Chairs gave similar reports at both Gatherings.  Therefore, we are combining the North and South Gatherings into a joint Gathering while the COVID pandemic continues.

Based on the above, we are proposing to hold the Joint Gathering on the 3rd Wednesday of each month and rotating from Morning / Afternoon / Evening/ in the hopes that more members will be able to participate via Zoom.

Each meeting will have its own Zoom meeting id and password. Gatherings are scheduled monthly on Wednesdays with evening, morning and afternoon schedules. Members check your E-news for the Zoom link, meeting ID and passcode.

We are looking forward to seeing you at a future Gathering!
Janice Lambert and Judy Hansen

2020 VIRTUAL STRIDE TO TURN THE TIDE UPDATE

Thank you all for your support of our Virtual Stride Activities in June 2020. We were able to raise $20,525.00 to contribute to the Stephen Lewis Foundation. The national total raised was $260,000.00, a very impressive amount for the Grandmothers in Africa. Next year we will be participating again.

Click here to view the SLF Stride to Turn the Tide letter.

Look for updates on how to join the team, how to contribute or sponsor participants & our  goals.

Regards,

Sandra Burgess
Team Lead

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)

 

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.