March 04, 2013

You are a Jewel - volunteer program

In my opinion, your "job" should be much more than what you do and more about who you are. 

About a year and a half ago, I found a program in Houston called Beading Cancer associated with Marnie Rocks (a fellow Texas jewelry designer). Founded in 2007, Beading Cancer is dedicated to alleviating the stresses to patients and their families associated with cancer treatment by providing jewelry beading parties for primarily children. 

I was floored. This was a brilliant idea and I had to get involved. Since our home base is in the DFW area, traveling to Houston was a little out of reach to volunteer regularly. I couldn't shake the strong pull that the simple love for beads could impact a community so I decided DFW needed a program of its own. Thus, You are a Jewel was born. 

The You are a Jewel program is inspired by the Beading Cancer principals and focuses on providing creative therapy through jewelry design for victims of domestic violence in the greater DFW area.

Although fairly low-key, for over a year now the program has hosted jewelry sessions for Safe Haven in Fort Worth and Dallas Providence Homes in Dallas/Plano. I had no idea the impact of merely sharing the love of beads would have on these women. It has truly blown me away.

Here's how it works: 

The sessions are usually scheduled for a weekday night or Saturday morning (whichever works best for the shelter). My volunteers and I arrive with a whole sack full of purchased/donated beads, findings, and everything you would need for each guest to make one necklace and one pair of earrings. They can use anything they want and they are so thrilled to see all the sparkling gems on the table. Because of several generous donations, I now have tools and mats for each guest. No more passing one tool around the entire table. {So amazing!}

You can see the excitement on their faces! Every session I have noticed there is such a variety of personalities: some know exactly what they are going to create, some hesitant to start which are encouraged by volunteers, some map out the entire piece before diving in, some purely here for the experience, and others on a mission to create items for others (family members, a fellow friend in the shelter etc.). They are curious, they are passionate, they are Jewels.

We chit chat just like any women do around the kitchen table. They ask me about my business and how I got started etc. I always encourage them to start their own businesses and to find what makes them tick. Every single time I walk away totally inspired and in awe. I love what they create...

The You are a Jewel program is still in a fairly informal state - just one jewelry designer and her friends hauling beads in a reusable bag to the shelter but I'd like to push to make this a bigger event. If this post has touched you in any way here's how you can help.

- Volunteer for a session: I am going to do a better job of announcing dates for sessions on my facebook page in advance so make sure you have liked my page to get these details! I have one coming up at Safe Haven in Fort Worth, Texas April 6th from 10:30-12:00. There are 3 spots to volunteer.

- Donate to the cause: Anything helps, really! Monetary donations, old beads and components, tools etc. I am also looking to decorate the table in the future with a table runner, flowers in vases, and anything that would make it more special. If this is your specialty feel free to join in or pass on ideas!

- Pass it along: Pass this information along to any friends and family that might want to get involved. This is a direct way to love on the women of our community. 

- More locations: I am currently looking for a shelter in the mid-cities area. If you know of any locations please pass them my way so I can get the You are a Jewel program started in your area. 

::to help please email me at

I'll leave you with a great quote by fashion maven, Rachel Roy:

image via

No comments:

Post a Comment