Update from Joy in Canada @ 5th February 2016

Today, February 5th, it is sort of a special day for me. It was my father’s birthday and even after twenty odd years since he passed, I still miss him and think of him on this day every year. There are other days that I think of him but today especially.

The weather was beautiful today, the sun was shining and it was only -6C with no wind.  Walking was truly wonderful.  I had to take my hat off as I was too hot.  We do not have as much snow as last year so the sidewalks and roads are fairly dry, though there is a lot of sand (for the ice) and in some spots it is icy so you have to walk very carefully.

I was out today as I went to my friend Heather’s for an “executive” meeting of our Grandmothers’ group.  I am the secretary so Kathy (the Chair), Heather (Past-Chair) and I (Secretary) had some things to discuss regarding our last meeting.  The walk was lovely and, of course, at the end, there are friends.  Alex (my son) picked me up afterwards and took me out for lunch so it was a great day all around. I would like to tell you about my Grandmothers’ group.  We are called the Mariposa Grandmothers and we are associated with the Stephen Lewis Foundation.  Stephen Lewis was a politician who left politics after being appointed to the UN by the Canadian government.  He started his foundation to raise awareness as well as funds for the aids epidemic in Africa.  In Canada, Grandmothers across the country started groups to raise funds to help Grandmothers in Africa who are raising grandchildren because their parents have died due to Aids.  Our group is 10 years old this December which is the same year that the Foundation started.  Over the last decade we have raised (our group only) over $138,000 which works out to approximately £68,449.  Not bad for a group of 25 Grandmothers….  We only meet once a month but we have some really great fundraisers.  My favourite is the Book Exchange which happens on the 19th of this month.  You bring in say 6 books and exchange them for 6 books plus a donation.  This is one of our best fundraisers and the community really likes it as we always raise over $2,000 for 3 hours of work.

I hope everyone is looking forward to spring in Beverley as we are here in Orillia.  I imagine you will get spring before us…we tend to have late snowfalls, etc.  Also, I am so happy to see the membership of Going Together growing. WOW…57 members already.  I only wish I could be there to participate in some of your activities.  I constantly check the website and am amazed at the activities! I wish I could be there to participate in some of them.  Best wishes to all from Canada and, one day, hopefully, I will be able to meet you….

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