Grateful Grannies raise $46,000
The Camrose and Area Grateful Grannies group had much to celebrate recently at their second birthday. In the two years since the group began, they have raised close to $46,000 for the Grandmothers to Grandmothers campaign of the Stephen Lewis Foundation.
Fundraising initiatives often grow out of a personal “dare” to put a new idea into action. Meet Grateful Granny member Edythe Schneider, whose fundraising idea started with her long-time interest in card-making. She designed, made and sold 250 angel cards to support African grandmothers raising their orphaned grandchildren. When Edythe could no longer keep up with the demand for her cards, she gathered a small team of grannies to assist her. To date, close to 600 cards have been made and sold.
When a blizzard this winter blew into the Dried Meat Lake area where Edythe lives, one of the card-making sessions at her home unexpectedly turned into a pyjama party. She fondly recalls, “The weather was too bad for the group to safely return to Camrose. I scrambled to get enough pyjamas and toothbrushes for everyone to stay overnight. Our evening was full of laughter.”
In talking about her volunteer work for the Grateful Grannies, Edythe explained, “For a number of years I have been looking for an organization that I could help, or do something for, by working from my home. The Grateful Grannies group is perfect in every way.”
As Edythe’s cards have continued to sell, she has added a new creative challenge to the mix: working with wood. She said, “My husband gave me the initial instructions to use a scroll saw and an engraving dremel and from there it was lots of trial and practice.”
With Edythe’s new skill set, she has designed and made wood ornaments, fridge magnets, and larger wooden figurines, as well as hand-embroidered cards, each showing an African grandmother holding her grandchild. In addition, the Grateful Grannies sell colourful, hand-made angels at their events – 1,100 of them so far and counting! A local store, Quilting from the Heart, also kindly sells these AIDS angels on behalf of the group.
Many creative fundraising initiatives have been carried out by Grannies in the past two years. For example, cookies, jewelry and garden transplants have been sold. Concerts, and dinner and garden parties have been held – often in the coziness of members’ homes. In December, the group hosted a Christmas Market in the historic Bailey Theatre.
If you are interested in buying their cards or other items – or having the Grateful Grannies sell their hand-made crafts at your event, please contact Margaret at 780-672-7033 or Edythe at 855-2035. Close to 250 Granny organizations across Canada support turning the tide on the HIV/AIDS pandemic.