Marcia Haley performs on cello during the Grandmothers to Grandmothers plant sale and tea at the Sybil Andrews Cottage Saturday.

Grandmothers plant seed of caring

Campbell River's Grandmothers to Grandmothers group holds plant sale, tea to raise money for counterparts in Africa

As the morning sun shines down on those gathered in the backyard of the Sybil Andrews Cottage, the Grandmothers to Grandmothers group couldn’t have asked for better conditions for its first plant sale.

But it’s not your typical garden sale.

The plants are already nestled into beautiful baskets and containers and there’s more than just the greenery.

There are also garden-themed crafts, hand-made by the women in the Campbell River chapter of the Grandmothers to Grandmothers group, and tea – complete with home-made baking – served on silver trays.

In the background comes the sounds of the cello played by Marcia Haley.

The event, which took place Saturday, was held to raise money for the Stephen Lewis Foundation which supports social programs and health services in Africa.

The Grandmothers to Grandmothers group provides funding through the foundation for African grandparents raising their grandchildren who have been orphaned due to AIDS.

Grandmothers groups on Vancouver Island have raised $2.2 million towards the cause, with $66,000 of that coming from the Campbell River Grandmothers to Grandmothers group, which was established in October, 2008.

The Stephen Lewis Foundation, which started in 2003, launched the Grandmothers to Grandmothers campaign in March of 2006 to raise awareness, build solidarity and mobilize funds for Africa.

It has since grown to more than 200 grandmother groups across the country, involving 5,000 women, who support African grandmothers through the Stephen Lewis Foundation.

Since its establishment, the foundation has supported more than 250 projects in 15 African nations that provide care to women who are ill and struggling to survive, assist orphans and other AIDS-affected children, and sustain networks of people living with HIV and AIDS.