A few grandmothers are excited to be back in action after the pandemic to help other grandmothers and kids across the ocean by collecting art.
The organization Grands 'n' More is accepting donations for their fundraiser, Art from the Attic for the first time since the pandemic.
The organization is connected with the Stephen Lewis Foundation where grandmothers from Canada reach out to help grandmothers in Africa. They raise funds to assist with the ongoing AIDS epidemic that African children are suffering from.
"Grands 'n' More was called that because more means anybody can join. We do tend to be mostly older and mostly female and not all of us are grandmothers. They're about 160 groups like ours all across Canada and we've been around since about 2007," says Jean Altemeyer, the co-coordinator of the Art from the Attic fundraiser.
The AIDS pandemic has been a constant struggle for Africa and its children need help, which is what Grands 'n' More strives to do.
By gathering donated pieces of art and setting them up on display to be sold to the public, all of the funds are sent to African grandmothers to use to provide care for their sick children and grandchildren.
"We have an art sale coming up in October. Right now we're in the process of collecting the art and preparing it for the sale. The sale's one day long and all the money that we raised during the sale is sent overseas to assist the grandmothers and different projects," says Daniela Everson, the team lead for cleaning, preparing and pricing the art for the sale.
However, both Altemeyer and Everson realize that people will not donate if they do not know what they are donating towards.
"I have done other things in terms of educationals, and they do a tremendous amount of fundraising with raffles, different kinds of events. They've had comedies, they've had presentations where they've had speakers come in, some of the grandmothers from Africa have toured Canada and Spoke in Winnipeg," says Everson. "The grandmothers do different crafts that they sell, there's bags and we're famous for our beautiful bags that we sell and other projects, crafts that we sell throughout the year."
Altemeyer says that the organization maintains a connection with the grandmothers both in Canada and Africa by having tours for both ends.
"Sometimes the Stephen Lewis Foundation brings some of the African grandmothers and they tour to various parts of Canada so we can get the stories directly. But as well, they will sometimes offer a trip to various grandmother groups, and several of our members have been on those trips. Part of the expectation is if you go on a trip, you visit various countries and various projects, you come back to Winnipeg, you tell the stories to others so that the experience doesn't just stay with you," says Altemeyer.
Many African grandmothers have spoken to grandmothers who are part of Grands 'n' More and have said that they have saved their lives through the work that they do for them.
"Right now, Grands 'n' More is in donation mode. If you know of anybody who's moving or downsizing or just wants to shift their art, or maybe they bought a piece of art with somebody and they're no longer with that somebody and they no longer want it, give it to us. We have opportunities to drop it off or to have volunteers come and pick it up."
The Art From the Attic is on October 2nd at the St. Vital mall.
To donate art, Grands 'n' More can make pick-ups or make drops offs at the St. Vital Mall. To make arrangements with the organization, they are available by phone (204-451-7132), or email at email@example.com. Visit the Grands 'n' More website for additional information.