Final Post

Dear Friends of Grandma Charity Challenge,

Today is my final post at Grandma Charity Challenge.

I’m now blogging every four days at, where I talk about Nigerian customs, African literature, and race in America. I keep readers posted on events where I speak about my memoir Nigeria Revisited My Life and Loves Abroad.

Please come join me there. When I have information to share about charity challenges I’ll tell you on

And here for my final post is a wonderful list of online stores that are contributing to nonprofits this holiday season.

Now I have to go shop! See you at

Mother’s Day

Sweet Mother

There was a song in Nigeria in the ’70’s called Sweet Mother. Everyone knew it and everyone sang it.

I heard it most recently at the London Conference on Igbo Women when one of the speakers mentioned it. Once she named it of course she had to sing it, and we of course had to join in!

The time before was at Katia Ekesi’s 70th birthday party in Rome!

I thought of it as I looked at the UNICEF reminder for Mother’s Day.

My daughter and her family are coming. She’s taking the train from South Hadley, Massachusetts where she’s attending her final board meeting as a Mount Holyoke trustee, and her husband is driving with Nkiru and Ikem from Philadelphia.

I bought a UNICEF baby-weighing scale as my Mother’s Day gift for my daughter. After I gave my credit card information UNICEF gave me a printable card. I could have chosen an email greeting for her, but I’ll give her the card on Sunday before we go to brunch at Bernard’s in Ridgefield.

What will you do for Mother’s Day?


Nepal Earthquake

Have you and the children you love been watching or listening to news of the earthquake in Nepal? So many deaths.

Children and adults are trapped in the rubble. Historic buildings and temples are devastated. I’ve been watching and reading reports from CNN. Their online report is being updated live as I type. I’m including a couple of pictures from CNN.

  • NGO official says people will urgently need food, water, medicine and shelter.
  • More than 1,000 people across Nepal confirmed dead, official says
  • People treated outside hospitals, avalanches reported on Everest

“Kathmandu, Nepal (CNN)A magnitude-7.8 earthquake centered less than 50 miles from Kathmandu rocked Nepal with devastating force Saturday, toppling homes, temples and historic buildings and leaving at least 1,457 people dead, authorities said.

Afterward, whole streets and squares in the nation’s capital and largest city were covered in rubble. Stunned residents stared at temples that were once part of their daily lives and now were flattened to the ground.”

UNICEF has already sent me an appeal letter, and I want to share it with you. I think UNICEF is an ideal recipient for a gift in response to this catastrophic event, for children as well as adults. Here’s what they said:

“Our response over the next 48 hours will be critical for protecting children in the region. That means we need to act now, and we need you with us.

Make a contribution to the Nepal Earthquake Emergency Relief Fund now—every dollar will be essential to helping the children suffering from this disaster.

Our staff are already deploying vital aid in the places hit hardest, but we’re in a rapidly evolving situation with rapidly evolving needs. We’ll need the ability to mobilize quickly as we learn more—and we’re relying on you to make that happen.” So call your grandkids, or tell your children they can help – they will want to, I’m sure, when they see what is happening.

And thank you for the help you give!

Calling For The Peace Corps Next Act: The Equal Society Corps

I love this essay – I’m ready to pack my bags. Well, not quite. I need to finish my book tour first!

WYS Words

One of many incredible days for me as a Peace Corps volunteer in Kenya (Kaimosi). One of the many incredible experiences I had as a Peace Corps volunteer in Kenya (Kaimosi).

I was a Peace Corps volunteer a decade ago and it was one of the most important and impactful experiences of my life. As designed and established by John F. Kennedy in 1961, the Peace Corps provides technical assistance, helping people outside the United States to understand American culture, and helping Americans to understand the cultures of other countries.

As Wikipedia summarizes, “The work is generally related to social and economic development. Each program participant, a Peace Corps Volunteer, is an American citizen, typically with a college degree, who works abroad for a period of two years after three months of training. Volunteers work with governments, schools, non-profit organizations, non-government organizations, and entrepreneurs in education, hunger business, information technology, agriculture, and the environment.”

When I volunteered, there was a lot of emphasis on the…

View original post 1,220 more words

Three Ways Grandmas Can Tackle Ebola

One – Trick or Treat for Unicef

UN General Assembly where Obama spoke

UN General Assembly where Obama spoke

The Ebola virus seems just too overwhelming, not only for the children we love but even for us. But Unicef has an answer. They’ve been on the front lines for months already.

It’s not too early to start talking to the children in your life about Trick-or-Treating for UNICEF! Did you know this was an ongoing program? On their website they suggest three ways to help – traditional door-to-door, online, or holding a party. Would one of these appeal to your favorite child or children? If you offered to help with costume design or one of the others, I bet the answer would be yes!

Do you know where the name Unicef came from?  Do your grandchildren? You can find out here.

Two – Learn about the United States’ Response

The United States is sending help and Obama has asked other countries to step forward too.

You can watch Obama’s speech at the UN. At nine minutes, it may be too long to hold children’s attention, but you can look at these pictures of the UN and see others too while you listen.

Flags outside the UN Headquarters in New York City

Flags outside the UN Headquarters in New York City

Three – Become Familiar with the Affected Countries

Why not also get a map of Africa and let the children find the affected countries – Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone primarily, with Senegal and Nigeria having limited cases? Here’s an interactive map you can use.


Flags of the world

Another way to encourage children to learn about Africa is to look at the flags and match them up with countries.

You can try this game – maybe after studying the flags!

Did you try the game? How did you do? Did the children you know do better?

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