Oceanside Grandmothers to Grandmothers Jacquie Ostrow

Oceanside Grandmothers offer holiday gifts and help

Come out for some festive shopping and help orphans in Africa Nov. 27-28 at the Quality Resort Bayside

Unique Christmas gifts and a festive atmosphere will be on offer as the Oceanside Grandmothers to Grandmothers (G2G) hold their eighth annual Christmas extravaganza November 27 and 28.

Everyone is invited to what organizers are calling the biggest Christmas fair in Parksville this year. Along with their holiday shopping, people will help support those effected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa.

This is the most successful fundraiser for the local group which has raised $300,000 since they formed in 2006. People can help their efforts by looking for the perfect Christmas gift, with a huge variety of locally made crafts and goodies to choose from.

Select from handmade crafts, jewelry, hostess gifts, homemade baking, preserves and much more, said G2G member Ann Tardiff.

Find their famous African Christmas Angel ornaments, handmade and named after an African child who has died of AIDS, and the colourful cloth totes bags.

The one-of-a-kind, handmade bags became an instant hit when they were introduced and a group of 10 “bag-ladies” have been sewing up a storm creating the custom made bags for this year’s fundraiser.

“They are always very popular and come in a nice variety,” Tardiff said.

There will also be hand crafted Christmas wreaths both alive and artificial, knitted items, jewelry made by women in Africa, driftwood birdhouses, cards, journals, quilts, gingerbread houses and more, including many Christmas stocking ideas.

The grandmothers will also have their Christmas cakes, breads, all sorts of baking as well as refreshments at the event.

Like all of their fundraisers, the proceeds go to the Stephen Lewis Foundation for community organizations providing care and support to women, orphans, grandmothers and people living with the disease. More than 15 million children have lost one or both parents to HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa.

“A full 90 percent of money raised will reach the ground in Africa,” G2G member Rita Kleinfelder stressed, “that’s better than most charities. And all the groups in Africa are vetted, they don’t just hand the money out.”

She gave the examples that in Uganda $20 pays for a child’s school fees and supplies for the year and in South Africa, $45 will pay for garden seedlings to produce enough vegetables for six months for a family of four.

The Christmas extravaganza runs

10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Nov. 27 and Saturday, Nov. 28 at the Quality Resort Bayside Parksville, 240 Dogwood St. Visit http://oceansideg2g.org for more on the group. Admission is free and parking is plentiful.

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