Hello everyone. I’m very honoured to be the President of your Ujamaa Grandmas’ Board for 2018 – 2019. I welcome several new Board members, and look forward to working with ongoing members of the Board. I’ve been a member since 2011 and have been involved with our organization in several different capacities – all of which have highlighted the enormous energy and dedication of our members. I was a Member at Large on the Board 2012 to 2015, and then Vice President 2015 to 2017. In 2012 and 2014, I chaired our two Fashion Shows, which were so much fun for members and friends who were on the committees and/or modelled in the Fashion Shows. I’ve had the pleasure of volunteering for most of the Fabric and Yarn Sales and the Boutique Handcraft Sales as well as several other fundraising events.

Which brings me to one of the three ‘whys’ of Ujamaa Grandmas – the immense capacity we’ve had to donate to the Stephen Lewis Foundation (SLF). At the recent AGM, it was reported that we donated $78,000 in 2017; when added to the overall total donated to SLF of slightly over $1,000,000 by year end 2016, you all need to congratulate yourselves heartily! This reflects the thoughtfulness, dedication and unending hours of planning and volunteering by hundreds of our members. This could not have been achieved without YOU!

All the details of our Fabric and Yarn Sale will be included in April’s e-news. I love the entire concept of recycling fabrics and yarns from those who no longer need them, the joy on the faces of buyers with their bags full of treasures, and the total funds raised (last year that was over $43,000!!!) for SLF. We are grateful to the committee who has worked throughout the past year to plan a smooth and successful sale. Foremost NOW is the approximately 500 volunteer hours needed for the set-up and sales days, so check your availability on your calendars and plan to register to help.

Many thanks for your participation in all that you do for Ujamaa Grandmas


The fourth Annual Demo Day is happening soon. Come celebrate our creativity and spend the day visiting with other handcrafters and learning a few new tricks. Bring your lunch. Coffee and tea will be provided.

Demos this year will include:
1. More about socks – magic cast on and toe up with Alice Campbell and Janice Meeking.
2. Flying Geese – more than one way with Janet Barker.
3. Put it together – all about joining knits with Mary Anna Louise Kovar
4. Fire up your creativity – tips, tricks and games for when you loose your umph with Patty Cucman.
5. A special guest Diva to work us through a few key stretches and moves after a long day of sewing or knitting.
6. The Knit Doctor will be in. If you have a knitting problem bring it along and let Barb Skinner help you out. Barb will be available most of the day.

This year we ask you to share the best advice you ever received from your mother, grandmother or another special female.  We will have index cards for recording your name, the name and relationship of the Advisor and of course the advice. Or you can prepare your submission in advance and bring it along to pin on our board. A special prize will be drawn randomly from all the entries.

And of course there will be door prizes for each demo and some just for coming in the door.

Sign up will open on the web site on May 1. Save the date.

WHAT: Demo Day 2018 for members only.
WHEN: May 9 from 10:00 AM to 3:30 PM, Doors open at 10:00. Demos begin at 10:30, door prize draw at 3:00.
WHERE: Woodcliff United Church, 5010 Spruce Drive SW

REGISTER:  on the website; registration opens on May 1.


Ujamaa Grandmas has had another outstanding year; raising a total gross income of $107,958. This successful achievement can only be attributed to the commitment and contributions of our dedicated members and faithful supporters. The Fabric and Yarn Sale and Bags, Babies and Beyond events continued to be our biggest source of income. Sales from these sources approximated $89,500. The additional income of approximately $18,500 stemmed from events such as The Justice Film Festival Bake Sale, Ten Thousand Villages, SAIT, The Banff Tea Company, Speaker’s Bureau, Workshops and Special Projects.

In recent correspondence with the Stephen Lewis Foundation, it was confirmed that, as of mid-December 2017, Ujamaa Grandmas and their supporters have raised $142,644 for the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign. The breakdown of this total is as follows:

$78,270: Sales (donations sent directly from the 2017 income mentioned above).
$63,056: Donations, Monthly Giving, Securities, Tributes, etc.
$255: Beds Without Breakfast
$1063: Events

Additionally, the Foundation shared:

“Since inception, the Ujamaa Grandmas have raised a total of $1,190,724.44…….These numbers tell an inspiring story of a collaborative group of women who have dedicated countless hours to a movement of solidarity. Please extend our immense gratitude to all members of the Ujamaa Grandmas”.

It is motivating and rewarding to hear the monitory results of our efforts which in turn contribute to bringing about positive change in the lives of others. In 2018, may we continue to find the time and energy to support this very worthy cause.

Kathleen Patterson, Treasurer