Never underestimate the power of grandmothers

Grands ‘n’ More will host their annual “Art from the Attic” sale on Sept. 24, 2017.

“We’ve worked hard,” says organizer Jean Altemeyer. That is an understatement.

Grandmothers – the “unsung heroes of Africa”

Millions of African children have been orphaned because of AIDS and are being raised by their grandmothers. Grands ‘n’ More Winnipeg is a group of grandmothers and others who are part of the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign of the Stephen Lewis Foundation. Our goal is to support the work of community-based organizations in sub-Saharan Africa who improve the lives of grandmothers raising their own and other orphaned grandchildren.

Source: Grands ‘n’ More mission statement

Grands ‘n’ More do it again on Sept. 24, 2017 when they host their 3rd annual Art from the Attic sale.

Since June, dozens of volunteers have gathered, sorted, and priced more than 2000 works of art that folks from the city and surrounding towns generously gave in support of the children in Africa.

Community support and donations have been so great the fundraiser had to move to larger quarters, at 87 Walmer St.

Thanks to free rent from Terracon, drop off site from End of the Roll, and sponsorship to cover costs from Qualico and Assiniboine Credit Union, all proceeds from the sale will go directly to the grandmothers in Africa raising orphans whose parents died of AIDS.

People line up long before the doors open and the most popular artwork that sells out within minutes is Aboriginal art.

This is testimony to the healing power of Indigenous teachings represented in art that conveys hope and resilience. It’s a body of work that incorporates connection to Mother Earth and a spiritual heritage that links grandmothers everywhere.

There are also amazing pieces of original art, prints, sketches, oils, watercolours and decorator items from local and international artists of every size and colour.

The indomitable spirit of local Grands n’ More doesn’t stop with artwork. At 7 p.m. Nov. 4, 2017, McNally Robinson Booksellers, Grant Park Shopping Centre will host the launch of Powered by Love: A Grandmothers’ Movement to End AIDS in Africa.  This is the untold story of Africa.

Cover of book “Powered by Love”.

For a sneak preview of stories go to

As mover and shaker Jean Altemeyer says, “The grandmothers need to know they are not alone.”

There is also a need for resources that were destroyed by the pandemic which wiped out entire communities, she says. “That’s why we spend so much time on this – the need is so obvious.”

All photos by Sharon Twilley

Heather Emberley / Gracie Sweetstory


Heather Emberley is a repurposed school counsellor specializing in the psycho-social infrastructure of experience, an EAL teacher, freelance writer and sidekick of Gracie Sweetstory. They are stewards of a Little Free Library and their favourite word is postantineoconceptualizationalisticism.

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