Bead for Life

Once upon a time, my husband went out of town and my mom came and spent the week with me as she often does because I'm wimpy and I like the company.

And we were drinking coffee one morning and watching the Today show and there was a segment on something called "Bead for Life."

There was an impoverished Ugandan village and there were starving women and their families, without homes, medical care or education. Women fighting to survive. Their villages pillaged, they are raped and murdered, HIV and AIDS and disease run rampant through their villages. The women are forced to work 12 hours a day in the hot sun breaking rocks for less than a dollar a day, just so they could afford a tiny bit of grain for their families. Their little babies, starving.

But these women also had a hidden talent; one that someone here in the states discovered. They make beautiful beads. Beads out of recycled paper that make beautiful jewelry. And she took these beads back to the states and sold them and people here loved them. Because they're beautiful and handcrafted and made out of recycled paper! But they look, feel and sound exactly like real beads!

So when the returns came back on the beads, these wonderful women were able to actually buy a home on a piece of land they could call their own, not to mention afford food and medicine and schooling for their children. They are now able to get out of the slums and into communities where starvation, disease, rape and murder are no longer a part of their daily lives!

What was born out of this was an organization called Bead for Life. This story brought my mom and I to tears and before it was over we were logged onto the computer e-mailing Bead for Life to see how we could be a part of this.

So when I mentioned that I was having two wine and cheese parties last week, that's what they were! They were bead parties for Bead for Life. They sent us a HUGE BOX of beads, and my mom and I are had parties to sell them. All told, we sold about $1,000 worth of jewelry. And whatever we don't sell, we return to Bead for Life so someone else could sell them at another bead party. We don't make any money or commission and for each piece that's sold, 93 cents of every dollar sold goes back to the women of Uganda in the form of income, housing or programs to support education and health care. That's almost all of it!
Each beautiful piece is handmade by a beautiful woman, a mother, a sister, a daughter in Uganda. The paper is rolled and shaped as a bead. Then they are strung along with real beads into short and long necklaces, bracelets and earrings. They are sprayed with a sealant and hung on a clothesline to dry.

Isn't that amazing??????

I can't think of a better way to help fight extreme poverty half a world away. It has been one of the most wonderful, bonding experiences I have ever had with the women in my life. All of us coming together to help our sisters on the other side of the world. Helping other mothers provide for their children. It is a win-win situation for everyone.

Because this has been such a wonderful experience for me, I wanted to let all of you in on it too. That's why I'm giving away this beautiful purple necklace to one lucky commenter! It's a long necklace and you can double it up (like I do with my lovely pink one) to make a double!

All you have to do is leave me a comment!! You can get two more entries if you 1) follow me and 2) post about this on your own blog and link back here. Oh yes, I forgot. The contest closes Friday night at 8pm e.t.

Remember though that for each entry you must leave a separate comment (total of three comments) so that Mr. Random Number Generator can choose properly.
You can read more about Bead for Life HERE at the organization's website. Having a bead party is so super easy, the organization is so wonderful they give you all the materials and tools to have a great, successful event! And the jewelry is so beautiful all of it makes such great gifts!

I am truly blessed to have been a part of such a wonderful experience. Before the party, I watched the dvd with my three-year-old and although he doesn't really understand the whole thing (all he understands is that they have no toys "No TOYS??") he sees that somehow we are helping other people, even if we don't know them.
It all really brings back into perspective our life here, how we have a roof over our head and food in our bellies and love and happiness within our family. We don't need all that much more than that.
And I forget that sometimes.

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  1. sounds like an amazing organization! :) and its a gorgeous necklace. did i mention that purple is my favorite color??

  2. Wow! That sounds amazing! I am going to have to look into it more!

    And purple is MY favorite color too! ;o)

  3. AND I have been following you for ages. That's all for now.

  4. Amazing what a little bit of hope mixed with determination can blossom into

  5. http://haven4dragon.blogspot.com/2009/06/i-learned-about-bead-for-life-here.html

    Blogged the link to here.

  6. Gorgeous! And what a wonderful idea :) Purple is my favorite color. I've been following you for.... forever I think (since our Thursday 13 days) so consider that done.
    My post is here: http://zumfamily.blogspot.com/2009/06/beads-for-life.html
    Thank you :)

  7. Since I was young, I wanted to go to Africa and feed the hungry. Chronic illness took away that dream, but I discovered we can make a difference right here where we are today. This is a fabulous program and whether I'm lucky enough to win the necklace or not, I'm going to be passing on the word!!!

    ...never underestimate the power of ONE!

  8. What a cool idea- I love that so much of the money goes back to the women. I'm definitely going to check this out (Sure would be great to see that lovely purple sample in person- ha ha!)

    Oh, and I found you today for the first time through Chupie and J's mama's blog! : )

  9. Sounds like an amazing organization! Did I mention that Brooke and Lissa are lying? Purple is my favorite color!

  10. I follow you too! YAY for Christie :D

  11. Check out my blog :) http://shepdogg.blogspot.com/2009/06/giveaways_24.html


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