A single loonie, a simple gesture, one minor act of kindness demonstrated here in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows is having ripple effects around the world – in Africa – thanks to Christine Duamel and members of the Golden Ears Gogos.
This local group of grandmothers (and ‘grand-others’ – grandchildless women) recently celebrated a triumph. They raised significant money for and awareness about the dire plight of sub-Saharan African grandmothers who are having to raise their grandchildren who have been orphaned by the AID/HIV epidemic.
Hats off to these local ladies who (some 46-members strong) held a Small Change For Big Changes challenge and raised close to $7,000.
During the first 100 days of 2016, their lofty goal was to raise $10,000.
The intention was to distribute 100 hand-decorated donation jars to individuals who believed in the cause. Those people would, in turn, then collect $1 a day (whether from themselves or by soliciting donations).
“It looked different for different people,” explained Gogo co-chair Lynn Rajala, who quickly credited Duamel for conceiving of the ‘innovative’ idea.
For Rajala, the jar sat on her kitchen table for 100 days. Guests were invited to donate, and whenever her son came for dinner, there was a price he had to pay – giving to the Gogos.
Now, admittedly the team came up little short of its goal. They only received support from 67, not 100 people. But it’s believed the donations have already topped $7,000, with more jars still coming in.
That’s impressive. Kudos on finding a creative way of encouraging kindness and providing a way for locals to help the courageous African women.
As Rajala said: “We have it so good in this country. A dollar a day in this country is nothing. But that is really meaningful money to grandmothers in Africa.”