Kingston Grandmother Connection returns to raising funds through in-person sales

“One initiative which has been important during COVID times is providing food packages to African Grandmothers and their families. The COVID pandemic has exacerbated food insecurity issues,” said Deb Ruse, KGC volunteer. Photo of African families receiving food packages via Help Lesotho.

The Kingston Grandmother Connection is holding a series of in-person pop-up sales, the first in nearly a year, starting next month. The sales will raise money to support African Grandmothers; women struggling to raise their grandchildren, whose parents have died primarily from HIV/AIDS related diseases.

Kingston Grandmother Connection (KGC) is a group of women involved in supporting The Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Grandmother to Grandmother Campaign and Help Lesotho. Both of these highly-regarded Canadian Charities support programs in 15 African countries aimed at helping African grandmothers and their families.

While in-person sales were on hold, the KGC set up a virtual shop to continue to raise funds for their cause.

“Our online sales were very successful — much more than we thought,” said Janice Barling, a volunteer with KGC. “We made approximately $20,000 over the fall of 2020 and the spring of 2021.”

“Having these three upcoming sales will bring back some of the social aspects of our indoor markets which people enjoy,” she continued. “In fact, the online store has introduced us to a few new members, and we are looking forward to meeting them at the in-person sales.”

The first pop-up sale will take place outdoors at 617 Earl Street, on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., with a rain date of Sunday, Sept. 12.

The organizers said there will be contact tracing at the entrance to the sale and shoppers are asked to wear masks and practice social distancing. Masks are also available to purchase on site, and hand sanitizer will be provided at each station.

The following are some of the items that will be available at the pop-up sale:

  • Baked goods, treats for kids, preserves, jams, relishes, marmalade
  • African products, baskets from Uganda, jewellery, Kanga clothes and African design tablecloths 
  • Sewing creations
  • Used books
  • Sandglass creations and outdoor plants 

The second pop-up sale will take place on September 18, and the third will be a garage sale on the second of October. Details of these sales will be available on KGC’s Facebook page. The group also plans to reopen their virtual store in November. Read our previous coverage of their virtual store here.

Visit the Kingston Grandmother Connection website to learn more about where your support goes, and how the group helps African grandmothers.

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