I was surfing the web this morning and I stumbled upon some information about a very heart warming organization called Beads of Courage. Members include glass bead makers, bead shop owners and many other beading community members, who all share a sense of altruism and a passion for creativity.
The California organization focuses on helping children who suffer from pediatric cancer. They give each sick child a piece of string with letter beads
spelling out their name. Then, each child is allowed to pick out a glass bead
, from a large donated collection, to commemorate certain milestones in their treatment- a red bead for a blood transfusion, a white bead for a chemotherapy treatment, etc. The beads the children receive represent a kind of medal of honor as they go through their treatment journey. They watch their necklace grow in length as they complete more treatment goals, reminding them of their strength and accomplishments.
Members of the organization commented that they were amazed of the beading ritual’s profound effect on the children. While they expected the small bead gifts to be a nice treat for the younger children, they were surprised and inspired by adolescent patients’ application of deep meaning to each bead and usage of the ritual as a rite of passage.
For information in general or to donate to Beads of Courage, contact:
Director of Development
Beads of Courage, Inc.