GASP gives voice to a wide variety of issues relating to social and climate justice. Members are invited to take leadership on issues that are of particular concern to them. We see ourselves as a nimble group of activists.
Carole Holmes, Co-founder of GASP
In the Fall 2005, Carole and a group of women heard Stephen Lewis speak and came together to form the Oakville ‘Oomama’ grandmother group, one of the first to join the ‘Grandmother to Grandmother Campaign’ of the Stephen Lewis Foundation.
Carole served as co-chair of the Ontario Regional Resource Group that provided support to grandmother groups throughout Ontario and was emcee for the national GranAfriCan Gathering in Toronto in June 2010. Carole co-chaired the National Walk committee for ‘Stride to Turn the Tide’, a Walk in solidarity with African grandmothers and their grandchildren orphaned by AIDS. Over $1.5 million has been raised. On October 8, 2008, Carole spoke to the United Nations about grandmother activism in Canada. Carole is a founding member of Grandmothers Advocacy Network, a Canadian organization for grandmothers and youth in Sub Saharan Africa. She continues to work in these organizations today.
Now retired, Carole’s professional career included work as a high school teacher, a consultant with the Halton Children’s Aid Society developing child abuse prevention programs, a program supervisor with the Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services, and a Social Planner and a diversity trainer for the United Way of Calgary. A passionate advocate for women’s issues, Carole is a long-time member of the Women of Halton Action Movement, a feminist lobby group formed 35 years ago.
In 2008, Carole and her husband, John, returned to live in Oakville where Carole focuses her energies full time on her activism. She co-chaired two Private Sponsorships for Syrian Refugee families (Terra Firma Halton). She has been involved with Sisters in Spirit Vigils and a retreat for Settler and Indigenous Grandmothers.
Carole has one daughter, Shannon, and one granddaughter, Calliope. Carole says: “It is for Calliope and grandchildren the world over, that has prompted me to act to address the Climate Crisis. We owe it to the next generations to leave a sustainable planet. We have initiated a grassroots movement of nonpartisan grandmothers and grand ‘others’ who care deeply about the world our descendants will inherit. We, together with youth and students, work on personal and political actions to leave a green legacy.”
Lorraine Green, Co-founder of GASP
Lorraine was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec. In 1986 she moved to Oakville. After working for a major financial institution for 23 years, and becoming more and more disenchanted with the political environment, Lorraine decided she wanted to start her own company and formed Lorraine’s Pantry Inc., a fine food catering service she ran for over 22 years.
Lorraine has been a member of a variety of business associations including the Chamber of Commerce, Commercial Executives of Oakville, Restaurant & Catering Association, Halton’s Women’s Association, and Company of Women.
At the beginning of 2007, she sold Lorraine’s Pantry, wanting to spend more time with her husband and family and become more involved in grassroots advocacy organizations, especially those focused on women’s issues.
Lorraine has always been a firm believer in giving back to her community and in social justice. She has been involved with the following organizations: the Salvation Army, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, the Red Cross, ATHENA Oakville, Wellspring Cancer Support Centers, Halton Women’s Place, Child Find, Reclaim Our Democratic Canada (RODC), Indigenous Sisters in Spirit, Grandmothers Advocacy Network, Oomama, Grandmothers Helping Grandmothers in Africa and WHAM (Women of Halton Action Movement).
More recently, Lorraine is proud to co-chair this non-partisan group of grandmothers and grand ‘others.’ Lorraine says: “We came together to take action on the climate emergency. I care deeply about the world my grandchildren and great grandchildren will inherit. For the five wonderful, healthy grandchildren, and two beautiful great-grandsons I have, I will work tirelessly to create a green legacy for them and their children.”