Winnipeg grandmothers group wants to repurpose old art to benefit Stephen Lewis Foundation

Winnipeg Metro. June 8, 2017. By Jessica Botelho-Urbanski

In 10 years, Grands ‘n’ More has raised more than half a million dollars to benefit grandmothers in sub-Saharan Africa.

Beverly Suek (in blue) traveled to Zambia and South Africa last year to see where Grands ‘n’ More’s fundraising dollars wind up.

A group of Winnipeg grandmas wants you to scavenge your attic—or basement, closet, you name it—for artwork to benefit grandmas overseas.

Grands ‘n’ More is a Winnipeg-based group of about 75 volunteers who are mostly grandmothers (some are grandpas, great-aunts and the like).

They’ve been fundraising for 10 years for the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Grandmothers Campaign and raised more than half a million dollars. Some of their activities include Scrabble for Africa, tote bag-making and a flash mob dance they performed at Portage Place Shopping Centre last year during World AIDS Day (Dec. 1).

Their latest project, the third Art from the Attic auction, will be Sept. 24 at the Norwood Community Centre (87 Walmer St.). Grands ‘n’ More just started spreading the word in hopes of accumulating lots of artwork over the summer.

“This is a good cause and someone else is going to enjoy (the recycled art),” said Beverly Suek of Grands ‘n’ More.

Suek travelled to Zambia and South Africa last year to see where the money raised winds up. She met the grandmas in need in sub-Saharan Africa, who help raise children orphaned by the AIDS epidemic.

“I met one woman there, she’d lost nine of her nine children to AIDS and ended up taking care of eight grandchildren, which she wasn’t expecting to do,” Suek said. “She thought somebody would be taking care of her at that age, but that’s not the way it worked out.”

“These women have been very courageous taking care of these children when there was not that many facilities to be helpful to them,” she said. “I don’t think (Canadians) really fully understand the impact AIDS has had on Africa, because it’s 17 million orphaned children in Africa who have no parents. I mean, that’s half the size of Canada.”

The trip opened Suek’s eyes as to the value of the volunteer work she’s doing at home.

If you want to donate artwork to Art from the Attic, call 204-770-6131 or email to arrange for a pick-up

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