An unused fabric and yarn sale? Leftover bits? Who would want someone else’s fabric or yarn? Maybe it could work. Even so, who would part with the treasures in their stash? Then the idea caught on, grew and, as they say, the rest is history.
The FABRIC & YARN SALE rose from one good idea in 2008, capturing the imagination, creativity and abilities of our Members. It has gathered momentum over the years and is refined each year as the committee reflects on ways to improve and make it better.
Each spring, UJAMAA GRANDMAS puts out a call for stash raids of unused fabric, yarn, notions, embellishments, patterns, books and machines. And donations pour in from individuals and local businesses. Hundreds of volunteer hours go into sorting, organizing, displaying the donations and then the doors open and we all stand back in awe.
History of Fundraising Results – Gross proceeds:
- 2008 – First F&YS at Woodcliff United Church. Gross Proceeds: numbers to come
- 2009 – $12,800
- 2010 – $19,500
- 2011 – $20,500
- 2012 – $19,400
- 2013 – $28,800
- 2014 – $32,200
- 2015 – $38,100
- 2016 – $35,000
- 2017 – $42,000
- 2018 – $55,000
- 2019 – $53,000
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The sale couldn’t be successful without the support of Woodcliff United Church, its staff and our UJAMAA GRANDMAS Members. And there is a community spirit that continues to grow around the sale that is key to its success. From our Members who volunteer long hours and enjoy the camaraderie of those pre-sale days, to our donors, both individual and business, there is a feeling of common purpose and working together to help others. And that spirit keeps growing. There are the corporate volunteers giving their annual community service, the elementary students who sort knitting needles and the high school students from Sir Winston Churchill and other Youth Central Volunteers who bring fun and laughter as they work along side us. We have donors who come with their donations, stay to help and become Members. Other grandmother groups in Alberta and Saskatchewan have had fabric sales and we share our notes and ideas with them while they have donated their leftovers to us.It is not possible to sell every piece of fabric, ball of yarn or notion and so we have partnered with a variety of agencies and charities in the city that provide and give to many both locally and abroad. We have made contributions of our leftovers to over 13 different charities and agencies working both locally and aboard. These recipients of our leftovers continue the circle of caring and community.
Our goal of recycling to be green and not letting anything go to waste is supported by another business that even takes away our coffee grounds. We appreciate all our business donors who have let us know that they feel part of the team.
Much like a stone thrown in a pond, the ripples reach out beyond our sale to benefit our African grandmothers and their orphaned children. As we work in solidarity within our community, we reach others both near and far.
Each year, as we prepare for the sale, we wonder, “Could there possibly be any more fabric and yarn out there for this year’s sale?” And, magically, it appears.