Saturday, September 27, 2014

Beads Of Courage

I recently wrote about 7000 Bracelets and Ears to You charities, and today I'm writing about Beads of Courage! 
 Bumpy beads made by Susan for a specific request.
From their web site, Beads of Courage is "...a resilience-based intervention designed to support and strengthen children and families coping with serious illness. Through the program children tell their story using colorful beads as meaningful symbols of courage that commemorate milestones they have achieved along their unique treatment path."  

"Program beads" are commercially produced beads due to the volume of beads needed.  They are tied to the color chart children receive when they first join.  The color chart is tied to specific treatment events in a child's journey.  "Act of Courage" beads are beads made by glass artists that represent milestones in a child's treatment journey.  Here are some guidelines about donating beads:

What is an Act of Courage Bead?Act of Courage Beads can take almost any form that you would like to make-it's an opportunity for you to let your imagination go! The 3/32" mandrel is preferred but other sizes are also usable.

Special Requirements for Act of Courage Beads: Please have nice 'puckers' on the ends of the beads, sharp edges on the bead holes cut fingers and can not be sent out. Overly frilly bits sticking out may break off and leave sharp edges on the surface, be sure that raised dots have solid connections (no undercuts) and that surface decorations are robust enough to take some knocking about.

We ask that you refrain from using reduction frit or glasses that give a metallic sheen on the surface due to heavy metal issues with these materials. We can't send metallic reduction surface beads to the kids.

Anneal your beads properly in a kiln to ensure they don't crack. Cracked beads have to go in the waste basket.

Please make sure that the bead release is cleaned out. Beads with the release still inside take more time for our volunteer staff to clean and this tremendously slows down turnaround time to the hospitals.

When you send your beads please fill out the Bead Donation Form, it helps us to expedite sending you a receipt and certificate for your donation.

Polymer Clay Beads are used in many of our programs including Creative Courage Journal, Beads of Courage Program for Siblings, Arts-in-Medicine Workshops and as a Member's Choice bead in the Beads of Courage Program.

Special Requirements for Polymer Clay Beads: Any size or shape is acceptable. The kids love bright colors! Our preferred hole size is 3/32" with no sharp corners, edges, or protrusions that would easily break off. Please remember that they beads are worn and handled by children and should be sturdy enough to stand up to wear and tear.

Other Manufactured Beads are used in many of our fundraising activities and workshops. We welcome your donation of miscellaneous beads, they all find a perfect home to further the mission of Beads of Courage, Inc.

Bead Delivery to Hospitals: None of our member hospitals are set up for direct donation. All beads distributed in our programs are our responsibility, we need to see every Act of Courage bead before it goes out.

How do Donate Beads

Print and fill out this Bead Donation Form and send with your beads.

Mail to:
Beads of Courage, Inc.
Attn: Bead Donations
3230 N. Dodge Blvd. Suite J
Tucson, AZ 85716

Robert Simmons, PhD, our Director of Bead Donations is available to answer your questions. His email is 

AJE's own Jennifer Stout-Cameron holds a Beads of Courage Charm Swap/Auction every year.  Participants are asked to make charms to swap, related to a specific theme, and one to auction on eBay.  All proceeds are directly donated to Beads of Courage.  This year our theme is "Soar". While the function is quite fun, it's also very worthwhile - last year, $1500 was donated to Beads of Courage.  Most people donate more than one charm to be auctioned.  While this year's signups are closed, you should look for our auction on eBay on November 14th! And please consider joining next year, it's lots of fun!

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