Oct 17, 2007

Living for Beads, Beading for Life

My sister and I recently decided to set a limit on the cost of gifts our families buy for one another. We're both having some, um, interesting financial times and it seemed only prudent. It got me thinking (well that and LauraJ's posts on being frugal!). Granted this can be a dangerous thing as I've only a few untainted braincells available for such a purpose but thinking I was. Then I read about this group today in a fellow jewelry designer's blog: http://www.beadforlife.org/beaders/beaders.html

It's so easy to forget, as we struggle to pay our mortgages or take our family on vacation or even grab a bite at a McDonald's, that in many parts of the world, a vacation would be anytime they have enough to eat and aren't falling down from exhaustion. As the holiday season is coming up, if you know any crafty people (they sell loose beads), people that like world music (their group cut a CD), people that would love a little handmade jewelry pouch, or people that like unusual jewelry, please consider a purchase from the Bead for Life store: http://www.beadforlifestore.com/servlet/.3fbe5b94/StoreFront

Yes, I know I make and sell jewelry and, obviously, I love every purchase anyone makes from me, but I can (usually) pay my mortgage. These people often can't put more than one meal on the table a day - and that's exaggerating as they don't have tables. Sometimes, they don't even have cooking pots, mattresses or cots, or a cupboard to store what little they do have.

I've bought a couple CDs and a bunch of loose beads, which you'll see start turning up in my work soon, no doubt.

Other ideas for holiday gifts with added meaning?
http://shop.thehungersite.com/store/category.do?siteId=220&categoryId=284&origin=101171
(if you order the recycled silk yarn, be aware that it is NOT for beginners!)
http://www.supportunicef.org/site/pp.asp?c=9fLEJSOALpE&b=258522
http://www.alternativegifts.org/
http://www.heifer.org/site/c.edJRKQNiFiG/b.204586/

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4 Comments:

Blogger smileymamaT said...

Wow. This was the first I'd heard of Beading for Life, and I've spent nearly an hour poring over the website. What powerful, positive, spiritual women who do this! What a fantastic way for them to build financial security and to create a future for their families and communities! I will be buying a bag of beads. Thank you for sharing this with us. I am astonished.

9:24 PM  
Anonymous Betty897 said...

Oh, K2, I'm so glad that you've discovered Bead for Life. I've known about them for a couple of years now and already own three necklaces and a bracelet.

My knowledge of Bead for Life came from my involvement in the Clay Aiken fandom. In early 2005, Clay visited Uganda on behalf of UNICEF to learn about the problems of children there. (He's the ambassador for UNICEF with special focus on the problems surrounding ALL children throughout the world having access to education.) After he returned from that trip, fans noticed him wearing a cool-looking beaded necklace and somehow the info got out that it came from this organization. Many Clay fans loved the mission of the organization and one who lives near Denver even visited their headquarters and met with the founders to discuss how Clay fans could help them. Clay fans are famous for having pre-concert parties in many cities where Clay has concerts and they started offering Bead for Life items for sale at these parties. I don't know the amount raised, but I know it was a lot. There used to be a Thank You to Clay fans posted on the BfL site, but I don't see it there anymore.

May I make a suggestion? If you are going to use their beads, can you make earrings with some of them? That is the one thing I wish BfL would sell and they don't. I'm an earring w****. I'm much more likely to wear earrings than a necklace or bracelet.

3:38 PM  
Blogger JerseyTjej said...

I second the earring purchase from you! I had never heard of it, but in my efforts to concentrate less on my material enhancement and more on helping those that do not, I have committed to cut my Christmas shopping by 30% and donate it to charaties! I am funding 2 people thorough the Kiva program and buying 2 goats for families in Africa. All for less than the costs of my family of 6 eating at a low end restaurant.

1:25 PM  
Blogger Jade said...

Thanks for the links! I'll be checking them out as I get into the mindset for Christmas. We are trying to concentrate more on the gatherings this year and less on the commercialism ourselves.

7:05 PM  

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