Excitement and exhilaration, along with creativity and so many hours of dedication!  That’s what I feel when I think about the upcoming (and many past) Bags, Babies and Beyond sales.  What a major event of our fundraising year! Hundreds of you have spent many, many hours creating truly “boutique” handcrafts, while others of us help by being custodians of products throughout the year or by transporting products and setting up props on the day of the sale and after the sale.  Others of us are involved in the display and signage of items, while others are delighted to be cashiers as multitudes of our customers happily purchase their unique and quality items. And then our bonus of the event – we all have a chance to purchase all those special occasion/Christmas gifts (or other gifts just for ourselves).

The funds that are generated each year at our Bags, Babies and Beyond Sale are truly phenomenal!  When we tell our family members and friends what we’ve collectively accomplished for the Stephen Lewis Foundation, there’s always “a second” while they process the amounts and then exclaim “Really???”.  When the SLF receive the funds that we send after our sale, they too can hardly believe the success of our sale. And how gratifying this all feels for so many of us, to support our sister African Grandmothers.

Our Board of Directors extends an immense measure of THANKS to all our members who are involved in whatever way with the sale.

2018 BB&B SALE

WHAT: 2018 Bags, Babies & Beyond
WHEN: Friday, October 19, 2:00 PM to 8:00 PM and Saturday, October 20, 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM
WHERE: Marda Loop Communities Association, 3130 16 Street SW.

To volunteer, REGISTER HERE

Please note the September gathering dates and times for dropping off your last items for the sale.  If you cannot make it to one of the gatherings, check location and final drop off dates below.

WHAT: South side drop off
WHEN: Friday, September 28, 3:00 PM to 8:00 PM and Saturday, September 29, 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
WHERE: Address in September E-News
WHAT: North side drop off
WHEN: Friday, September 28, 3:00 PM to 8:00 PM and Saturday, September 29, 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
WHERE: Address in September E-News

Please make sure you tag your items before dropping them off.  Only you know what they are made of.  Because of the timing of pricing done by the committees, we cannot promise that items received after these dates will be included in the 2018 sale.  Late items will be held for next year’s sale.


Sew Days have been fun and successful.  Many items have been created for the 2018 sale.
There will not be a Sew Day in October but we will be meeting on November 28th to start making items for the 2019 sale.  It is a good day to get to know other Ujamaa members as we work together.  Check the Nov E-News to find out what will be made in November.



Time to sign up to volunteer for the 2018 BAGS, BABIES & BEYOND extravaganza.  We are trying hard to make it easy.  Please keep in mind that we will do our best to honour your preferred location but we may have to assign you to another area if needs dictate.  We hope you understand.

Below is a description of the various roles.
Cashiers will be given a short training session before beginning their shift. You will be working in pairs so no need to panic. This is often one of the harder spots to fill but fear not. Training is offered and members who have not worked this position before will be paired with an experienced cashier. It is lots of fun to see the excitement of the customers and to watch them spend their money! If you need to be seated this is the perfect spot for you.

Customer Assistant:
Volunteers working on the sale floor assist by:
• Helping customers to find specific items
• Modelling items if need be
• Carrying items to the cashiers if the customer is overloaded
• Bagging small items to make it less likely that they will be lost or dropped
• Tidying displays as the sale progresses
• Last shift will replenish stock at direction of the custodian.

Greeter / Receipt Checker:
You will greet arriving customers and hand out the shopping bags if they are needed.  As customers leave you will thank them for coming to the sale.  Their receipt should be visible as bags are marked and stapled at the cash table. It is good time to chat about what they liked or did not like about the sale. Invite them to come back next year.

Volunteers will assist in the pick up, drop off and return of props for the sale. The storage location is in Edgemont and items will be carried from the basement to the vehicles. After the sale, items will be returned to the storage location and re-stacked in the basement. There will be plenty of help at the sale venue end.


You will be contacted by October 12 with specifics. Please be patient. We promise to get back to you with details as soon as we can.  If you have questions, direct them to .


It’s that time of year again! We’ve been offered the opportunity to distribute robes at the SAIT Fall Convocation for an honorarium. It’s a very worthwhile event. Last year our Fall honorarium was $750.
This year the date is October 11 with one shift of about 5 hours, requiring ten volunteers. There is a break between handing out the robes and collecting them at the end of the event.

This is a great opportunity to both raise funds and to socialize and meet other UJAMAA GRANDMAS.

* Busy times will be near the beginning and end of the shift while robes are being distributed and collected.
* During the 2+ hour ceremonies, volunteers should be able to leave for a coffee or a meal on campus or nearby.
* Expect lots of walking and some light lifting.
* Wear neat casual clothing and comfortable walking shoes.
* Bring reading glasses if you require them as each gown is labelled for a particular graduate.

If you are driving to the site, the best parking is at the Jubilee Auditorium.  The price is $10+.  Keep your stub and you will be reimbursed.  The LRT passes right next to the “Campus Centre” building and you can directly enter it from the station. Since classes are in session, the LRT is your best bet to get to the site.

WHEN: Thursday, October 11
WHERE: SAIT, 1301 16 Ave NW , Symposium Room, V202, Campus Centre

Map of SAIT Campus
When you arrive, enter the “Campus Centre” building and follow the signs to room V202 where the robes are being distributed.


Thanks for volunteering. We can’t do it without you.


If you are interested in being part of a great team, now is the time to speak up. Handcrafts Committee is looking for 4 new members to fill out our roster for the 2019 BB&B events. We are early, we know, but joining now will enable you to work along side the current members during the 2018 sale. It is also a chance for a test run to see if you really love it as much as we do.

There is an opening on the Children product team for a person to act as custodian and team co-ordinator. The team has three members, the current team leader, Mieke Van Dijk, and Sandra Burgess and Susan Johnston. These members share the responsibilities for product management and the sale. Mieke will step aside as team leader but will remain on the committee and Sandra and Susan will continue in their current roles. All will be available to assist the new member take on the team lead role.

There is an opening in Accessories for a custodian to take over the scarves, shawls and cowls – all those things that go around your neck. Glenda Sweetland has been the custodian for 5 years and she is stepping aside as custodian but is remaining on the committee so will be available to assist the new custodian. The second custodian is Mary Anna Louise who manages all accessories that do not go round the neck – heads and fingers, trunks and toes. Both Glenda and Mary Anna Louise will be available to assist the new custodian.

The third custodial role that will be vacant is for Jewelry. Karen McManus is stepping aside to focus on other things after three years as our Jewelry champion. This product line is diverse and ever changing. There are lots of props for display and storage is somewhat easier than other products because, by its nature, it does not take up a lot of space.

The last opening is for a committee chair person. Patty Cucman is stepping aside after 9 years on the committee.  Organizing and meeting skills are all that are needed for this position. There are lots of subcommittee heads on board to assist in this transition and specific tasks can be adjusted to suit the skills and interests of the new chair.

This committee is open and supportive and custodians have a great deal of autonomy. We have a guiding document that forms the basis of our relationships both internally and with members and the board. We are fortunate to have such a grand group of members, many of whom have been on the committee for many years. The fact that resigning custodians are remaining on the committee is a testament to our effectiveness and working relationships.

For details about specific responsibilities please refer to the Roles Document on line HERE.


Our Board of Directors extends an invitation to members to attend our Board meetings. We are grateful to the Marda Loop ATB at 2140 34th Avenue SW  for the spacious room which they have provided.  Public parking is free within a block; note the times of parking on the street.  Please let us know if you’d like to attend, through We look forward to hearing from you.

WHAT: Ujamaa Grandmas Board Meeting
Saturday, July 7, 2018 from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Thursday, August 9, 2018 from 12:30 PM to 2:30 PM
Thursday, September 6, 2018 from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Thursday, October 4, 2018 from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Thursday, November 1, 2018 from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Thursday, November 29, 2018 from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Saturday, January 5, 2019 from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Thursday, January 31, 2019 from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Thursday, February 28, 2019 from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
WHERE: Marda Loop ATB at 2140 34th Avenue SW