A lively and upbeat meeting of the Oliver Grandmothers for Africa took place October 5th. Two things led to high spirits. The first was that Shirley Polk agreed to lead the group again for the coming year. Her organizational skills and commitment have been a major factor in the success of the group. The second was that treasurer, Leslie Marriott, announced $2000 had been raised by the group at the Festival of the grape and would be sent to the Stephen Lewis Foundation immediately to support grassroots assistance to African grandmothers facing the challenges of the AIDS pandemic on their families and communities. African Grandmothers, pressed by necessity, are taking multiple orphans into their homes, without any idea of how they will be able to feed so many mouths or heal so many broken hearts.
Money raised at FOG this year represents the single most financially successful fund raiser for the local group and speaks to the dedication of the members who sew and design items for sale as well as some high powered but friendly sales techniques. Oliverites and beyond now know about the work of the Stephen Lewis Foundation and are happy to make purchases that give them personal satisfaction as well as a sense of helping a very worthy cause.
The next important fund raiser will be the Fall Frenzy at Medici’s on Friday, October 20th from 10 to 3 pm. (Watch for the familiar bright yellow posters around town.) Grab a few friends and come along to shop for beautiful bead and craft work done in Africa and for items also created locally. It is a wonderful way to get a head start on your Christmas gift list, enjoy coffee or lunch with friends and know that every purchase helps open up new worlds of possibility for the people and communities who have been hit hardest by the HIV & AIDS pandemic.