We are a group of Red Deer and area grandmothers and "grandothers" that reach out to African grandmothers who are raising their grandchildren orphaned by HIV/AIDS. Africa has become a continent of orphans – 14.8 million and countless others left vulnerable, increasing their chances of contracting HIV. In the midst of this tragedy African grandmothers have stepped into the breech, burying their own children and raising their orphaned grandchildren with little assistance. GrammaLink-Africa members seek to support these brave African women by creating awareness of their struggle and sharing our resources through fundraising for the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign.
The Seventh Annual Fabric Sale April 21, 20018 Since January, the Grandmothers have been sorting and pricing a huge assortment of unused donated fabric in preparation for the sale. We also had for sale new yarn,patterns, lace, buttons, instruction books, zippers, knitting needles, crochet hooks:any accessories you might need for a successful sewing project . Bigger items such as sewing machines,.quilt racks,serger spools,sewing baskets, storage boxes, a mannequin and a knitting machine were also donated.Beautiful bolts of fabric were donated to the sale by Purple Cats, Rimbey , Nuts and Bolts,Sylvan Lake,Beaver Creek Mercantile, Caroline and Urban Farmhouse Fabrics, Red Deer.Our shoppers were amazed and excited to see the variety and quality of all items for sale. Many people shop to sew or knit for their own families. Other shoppers have charity in mind: quilts and baby blankets for Ronald McDonald House,quilts for the children’s psychiatry ward in Calgary, mitts for Turning Point,afghans for Red Deer Hospital.Sylvan Lake Quilting Guild make quilts for those in wheelchairs and baby quilts for the neonatal ward.Central Alberta Care Group has made 86 quilts for charity in the past year.Central Alberta Quilting Guild are making 200 quilts for the Humbolt Broncos Hockey Team to be given to players, responders and families. Other interesting projects involve place mats for Meals on Wheels clients, table runners,place mats for gifts and Christmas bags for gifts and therefore avoiding the waste of paper.One shopper found a beautiful piece of hounds tooth and planned to make a stylish tote bag. Younger girls were also avid shoppers. One 8 year old bought a mannequin and ‘tons of fabric’ as she told me.Another young girl has her own mannequin at home and designs her own dresses and bathing suits.An 11 year old said she was learning to sew, knit and crochet.An 8 year old makes pillows for her friend’s birthday presents. Our thanks to Rolly Cowan,Red Deer Sewing Machine Co. for his presentation on ‘Maintaining your Sewing Machine’.Sincere thanks to all donors,shoppers and the many volunteers who made this sale such a success Our sale raised over 9000.00 with all proceeds given to the Stephen Lewis Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign.This Campaign assists and supports African Grandmothers in sub-Saharan Africa , who are raising grandchildren orphaned by HIV/AIDS . Our group GrammaLink-Africa has raised over 229.000 since our inception in 2006
Looking Ahead: The Grammas will be back with their Marvelous Mac & Cheese Lunch May 9. 2-18. 11:30 at Gaetz Memorial United Church.
World AIDS Day 2017 To mark World AIDS Day 2017 GrammaLink-Africa donated the book Powered by Loveto the Red Deer Public Library. This book was written by Joanna Henry with Ilana Landsberg-Lewis, staff members of the Stephen Lewis Foundation. See more photos in the picture gallery. The book is the "untold story of AIDS in Africa" in the voices of the grandmothers. It tells how "together resolute grandmothers in Africa and around the world are reclaiming hope and courageously saving lives". All royalties from sales of Powered by Lovewill be directed to the Stephen Lewis Foundation to support organizations run by and for African grandmothers who are raising children orphaned by AIDS. Books may purchased through Indigo, the Foundation and Amazon.
(Check out the Gramma's theme song on the Photo gallery page.)
photo by Maurice Henri
Our choice is to honour the grandmothers, enfold the orphans in our arms, and support them to make all of their lives whole again. ~ Stephen Lewis