RESILIENCY – this was not a word that was part of my usual vocabulary, but now in these COVID-19 times, it has common usage.  As an adjective, I think of resiliency as being able to adapt to a different but necessary situation – we may not like it (and feel very sad in the process), but we know we can do it!  In the August issue of the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s (SLF) Grannie Bulletin, we read about several aspects of the resilience and leadership of our African Grandmother sisters.  They have evolved from a situation when they supported their grandchildren and other children in their care, then learned to support other grandmothers in similar situations (through the help of 125 Community Based partners), and started their human rights movement to bring organized changes in their countries.  Now during COVID-19, these Community Based Organizations are reporting increased food insecurity, increased gender-based violence and health services that are overwhelmed or disrupted, putting those with HIV/AIDS at greater risk.  These are some of the necessary reasons to continue to support the SLF during the COVID-19 pandemic!

UJAMAA GRANDMAS members are being incredibly resilient!  I commend you all who are continuing to make a difference by reaching out to other members, by adding new twists to our fundraising events, and by the Board’s work to make sure that we can conduct in-person and online sales safely, by considering all the COVID-19 guidelines to keep our volunteers and customers safe.  There is now a COVID-19 risk management process to conduct both online and in-person sales of items, to be submitted with the revised Fundraising Guidelines approved by the Board at our last meeting.  These will be available soon.

The Bags, Babies and Beyond Committee has met by Zoom to consider if it is possible to hold our annual in-person BB&B sale in October.  As you will see, the plan is to go ahead with the sale after many, many decisions have been made, following provincial and city COVID-19 guidelines (and the UG Risk Management guidelines), but understanding that we may need to cancel this sale if ’the curve’ changes for the worse.  See the BB&B submission.  The safety of our volunteers and customers is of ultimate importance.

There are opportunities to stay in touch with each other.  The Connections Team hosted a second picnic at Baker Park, with social distancing.  The September Picnic is scheduled for September 16th at Glenmore Park – we’re counting on gorgeous Autumn weather.  We have held the August South and North Gatherings by Zoom, and will now hold only one Gathering each month, and will include an evening time to meet, to hopefully include those who are working. The September Joint Gathering will be September 16 at 7:30 pm.

There are so many times I appreciate being involved with UJAMAA GRANDMAS, and I hope that you do too.  Supporting the SLF is so critical, and UJAMAA GRANDMAS continue to do so in a variety of ways.  Again, I thank all of you for your efforts.