VOLUNTEERING!  At what point in your life did you begin?  My mom was a ‘star’ volunteer – there were 5 of us kids in the family, and she became involved, in a volunteer capacity, in whatever we were doing.  She was an inspiration and role model for me, but I didn’t realize that at the time.  When we needed to advocate for both our sons, during their school years, we volunteered to establish our credibility.   ‘Volunteering’ must be in my genes – as I guess it is in yours, for whatever reason.

We are such an inspirational group of people who give of our time, efforts and talents.  There are now multitudes of opportunities to be involved with Ujamaa Grandmas  – come to the AGM in May to learn of all that’s happened in 2018.  I’m still learning so much about how many of you volunteer in so many different ways – a sincere thank you.  Our next major sales event is, of course, the Fabric and Yarn Sale – there are more than 500 volunteer ‘slots’ to make this fantastic event occur, and then raise a phenomenal amount of funds to send on to our African grandmother sisters, through the Stephen Lewis Foundation (SLF).  Watch for the volunteer registration in the April e-News, for the ‘set-up’ of products April 24th to 26th, and then the actual sale the afternoon of the 26th and the 27th.

Another of the inspirational aspects of Ujamaa Grandmas is our resiliency.  After the disappointing failure to complete some of the transactions at our Bags, Babies & Beyond sale in October, a Root Cause Review was established.  Thanks to both Alice Campbell and Leslie Buckle for undertaking this process.  They presented their report to the UG Board and Committee Chairs on Saturday, February 9th.  That afternoon, the Board accepted the recommendations of the report, and a Sales Financial Committee was established, to follow through with these recommendations for all fundraising events.  They met on February 23rd and will again on March 1st.  More details to follow in the April e-News.

This is a simple ’thank you’ for all of your volunteering.  We’re making a huge difference for the support of our African Grandmothers, and the Community Based Organizations with whom they are involved.  Our contribution to the SLF in 2018 was an amazing $152,890, which included donations made in our name!  And our total lifetime contribution is $1,347,557 – imagine how this has helped so many grandmothers and their families, over the years.

We’ve included letter from the SLF Campaign Team to tell you of the retirement of Ilana Landsberg-Lewis, who was the founding Director of the SLF.  She has given so much of her time, efforts and talents, as so many of you have done.  Thank you again!