REFLECTIONS – VP JAN HEATH

October was the month for the Bags, Babies and Beyond Sale. Total funds raised were approximately $45,000 (to be finalized soon)!!  Once again it was a hugely successful event due to the dedication and hard work of many volunteers, not only at the sale but throughout the year. Congratulations to all of you! The financial success of the sale means that we can help our African sisters in a way that translates into effective programs that make a real difference in their lives and the lives of younger family members.

The following week all members of UG were invited by the board to attend a Celebration and Appreciation afternoon, held instead of the regular North Gathering. This was to celebrate and recognize all of our amazing volunteers for their hard work and the many and varied skills which they contribute. We were pleased with how many attended this event.  We hope that it was an opportunity for members to relax, celebrate, visit, meet new people as well as enjoy the friendships we have made through volunteering with this very special group.

It was interesting to reflect on our present situation compared with my memories of our first ‘stand alone’ sale held in October 2006 when, to our surprise, we raised $6,000 and were sold out by noon!  No bank night deposit had been organized so the money was stored under my bed together with a samurai sword for protection! Since then we have grown in leaps and bounds to become the large and very effective group we are today. This has led to an inevitable need for more structure in the organization and members have worked hard to make this happen. This is a work in progress and I have been impressed by the willingness of members to respond to this need and to be open to it, while not losing sight of the many wonderful characteristics of Ujamaa Grandmas which include supporting each other and supporting the Foundation which does such great work.