Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Can a piece of jewelry change the world?

Jewelry to me had always been about frills. An extra layer of stuff (one that admittedly was pretty low on the must-buy list.)

But the last few weeks have made me wonder: Perhaps jewelry can mean a little bit more.

The backstory: My daughter's Girl Scout troop is earning their Jeweler badge. The girls unanimously wanted to earn it, and I admittedly had squirreled away supplies of donations of leftover items the last couple of months.

I introduced the first project, an upcycled necklace, and let them know they could make as many as they wanted, but they could only keep one. Their response: "Could we sell them for Haiti?"

Within an hour we had designed more than 100 upcycled necklaces, which were donated to church for our Hearts for Haiti ministry, a cause dear to these girls.

Some of the upcycled necklaces made by my daughter's Junior Girl Scout troop. Funds from the sale next month go to our church's Hearts for Haiti ministry.

But it didn't stop there. As we later talked about jewelry, what it symbolized and what it was made from, I shared some stories and jewelry from Uganda that I recently received from Ember Arts, a company that works with jewelry artists in Uganda to create upcycled jewelry with paper beads that are just gorgeous. As I shared the story of some of the artists - some of whom used to earn $1 per day in hard work - the girls' response was "Can we help them too?"

Maybe jewelry in itself doesn't change the world. But perhaps the stories behind them can change hearts.


melissa said...

Great project idea for Girl Scouts! What is the base for the up-cycled necklaces, and did you just use regular Modge Podge to apply the paper?

robbie @ mom hats and more said...

Melissa, the base was a metal necklace that they were going to throw away at work. Just Modge Podge to adhere and add shine and durability.

Leah H. said...

Absolutely wonderful! I left a message also on another place. My question is: The Haiti project, is it an ongoing project? How can I get in touch with organizations like that? Do you think that we could use this as our Bronze Award for my Juniors. Unfortunately my sister passed away a couple years ago, and she left droves of jewelry items behind and I managed to snag them before they got sold in an auction. I have a plastic shoebox size container that has all sorts of beads in it that would make awesome necklaces.

Thank you for your wonderful blog.