Since 2003, grandmothers in Canada have been working to raise money to support grandmothers in Africa.
And if you want to help (and snag some awesome swag signed by Canadian celebrities in the process), there's a great auction taking place at the moment.
Oceanside Grandmothers Helping Grandmothers in BC is holding an online auction of ties signed by famous Canadians, with all proceeds going to support grandmothers in Africa (click the image below to visit the auction site).
There's something on the site for everyone - some of the signed ties have been turned into beautiful evening bags, while others (including the one that George sent in), are still in their original form.
An impressive list of celebrities have ties for sale in the auction: Peter Mansbridge, Rick Hansen, Don Cherry (you can't auction ties without getting Grapes involved), David Suzuki, the Tenors, Justin Trudeau, Paul Martin, Stuart McLean, and lots more. Check them all out at the charity bids site.
And hurry: the auction closes this Thursday, April 25 at 8pm PDT.
The Oceanside Grandmothers to Grandmothers organization has been raising funds since 2006. It all started when grandmothers Kathy Grand and Carol Lundine attended a talk by Stephen Lewis.
Stephen talked about "the plight of grandmothers in [Africa], women he referred to as the 'heroes of the continent'," and according to a piece on their website, his words had them "hooked."
They hosted a lunch later that month for some of their neighbours, and the Oceanside chapter of Grandmothers to Grandmothers was born. The membership is made up of women aged between 50 and 90, from all walks of life.
As of 2010, they've raised more than $100,000 for the cause.
According to the Stephen Lewis Foundation, "African grandmothers have become the lynch pin of survival for their families and communities. They have stepped forward to care for millions of children orphaned by AIDS, sometimes as many as eight to ten in one household."
Stephen Lewis, Alicia Keys and some grandmothers at the International AIDS conference in Toronto, August 2006
All told, the Grandmothers to Grandmothers initiative has raised $16.5 million so far.
The money is invested directly at the community level, supplying grandmothers and the children they care for with food, educational supplies, uniforms and school fees, medical care, housing, bedding, counselling and support groups, and more.
Visit the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign site to learn more about the initiative.
And check out this video: back in 2010, the Stephen Lewis Foundation held the African Grandmothers' Gathering.
It brought together grandmothers from both Canada and Africa in Manzini, Swaziland. Here are grandmothers from both countries speaking, and sharing a clear message from Africa: "don't pity us, support us."