Guelph Today. June 13, 2016 By Tony Saxon
All That Glam event makes money for grandmothers in Africa raising their grandchildren
Grandmas stick together, even ones that have never met.
The Guelph GoGo Grandmothers were doing their part to help grandmothers in Africa on Saturday at the All That Glam sale at Trinity United Church.
For the past year, the group of 60 or so local grandmothers has been collecting the jewelry, handbags and scarves that were sold at the very popular event, which included a bake sale.
All the proceeds will go to the Stephen Lewis Foundation to help grandmothers raising their grandchildren in Africa through the foundation’s Grandmother To Grandmother campaign.
“There are a lot of grandmothers in Africa affected by HIV AIDS,” said GoGo Grandmother Carol Barnhardt, one of the event’s organizers.
“What’s happening is that a lot of women have passed away and the grandmothers are left to raise their grandchildren: they’re the elders so the children go to them,” she said.
“They don’t have the money or the support that they need. This is where the Stephen Lewis Foundation steps in.”
The foundation finds local grass roots organizations, offers support and sometimes micro-financing loans to help the African grandmothers raise their grandchildren.
“It’s wonderful, because the money raised is going directly to help these grass roots groups and help the grandmothers.”
Barnhardt, who took a trip to Uganda recently to see the situation firsthand, said the GoGo Grandmothers can relate to a degree, having their own grandchildren.
“My heart goes out and I cry if I think about it,” she said. “These women are 60, 70 and 80 and they have to raise these young children.”
While some of the more expensive jewelry was sold to a jeweler prior to the event, there was thousands of items on the tables at Trinity United, almost all of it being sold for between 50 cents and $5.
“Caught me splurging did you!” laughed Judith Hurst as her photo was taken, one of hundreds who circled the church hall with basket in hand picking up items.
“It’s such a great event. What a wonderful idea,” she said.
The Guelph GoGo Grandmothers chapter has been around for about 10 years and engage in a number of smaller fundraising efforts throughout the year.