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Beads of Courage


 

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Beads of Courage -- Discussion for all things Beads of Courage; the only not-for-profit, arts-in-medicine program putting to use the talents of glass beadmakers to uplift children dealing with life threatening illnesses, their families and the people who care for them. Families, clinicians and artists alike are welcome to join in! (Thank you to Lampwork Etc. for supporting Beads of Courage and helping to foster communication!) PHOTOS OF INDIVIDUALS OR CHILDREN ONLY ALLOWED WITH THEIR SPECIFIC CONSENT.

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  #1  
Old 2010-02-17, 11:39am
Elizabeth Beads's Avatar
Elizabeth Beads Elizabeth Beads is offline
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Default Does size matter?

Now that I have your attention ... here is my question.

Is there a size limit for Act of Courage beads? I have been making some honking big beads lately, and some I think would be appealing to a child, but I'm concerned about their size.

They are sound and colorful, but some of the color combinations are experimental (i.e., one of a kind).

In some I left out a step, such as reducing before encasing, quite a few I started and ran out of rod or forgot to pull the right stringer, so I finished and decorated them randomly (think abstract expressionism)

They are big, I'd estimate about two inches long and an inch wide (most are crunch pressed). Some are samller, maybe 1.5 inches long and .75 inches wide.

Any guidance would be appreciated. They will probably go to a senior center if they are too big for BOC.

Which leads me to wonder, what happens to donated beads that are not suitable for the BOC program?


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Old 2010-02-17, 6:46pm
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From your descriptions it sounds like they'd go very well in our programs. You never know what the kids are going to gravitate to and for some of the big procedures a big bead is just the thing. I've come to believe that they see things that we don't (kind of like cats) and find fascination in beads that you and I thing are just weird or fughly.

As for unsuitable beads, sometimes we get beads that are very pretty but are just too fragile for the main programs. These often end up in fundraisers of various kinds that help us keep the lights on and the doors open. Even though almost everyone at BoC is a volunteer (we've had paid student assistants), it still costs money to keep everything going and we can sometimes turn beads that can't go directly to the children into cash to keep things afloat.

Robert
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  #3  
Old 2010-02-18, 9:46am
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Thanks for the advice - watch for a box with big beads shortly.
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Old 2010-02-18, 10:39am
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Thanks Elizabeth! I love hearing of boxes on their way to headquarters!

Like Jean says, we can use everything! And if we don't know what to do with something, I bet we can get creative and find a use!

Some of the ways that beads are used (when they don't go into the Acts of Courage category):

1. Spacers. Yes, even spacers can be used. At fundraisers and events we have bracelet making stations. Volunteer jewelry stringers sit at a table waiting for those who have 'purchased a bracelet.' People walk around tables that are set up according to colors of beads...like a bead rainbow, and choose enough beads to have a custom bracelet strung. Spacers are used for this.

2. Large Beads. Depending on just HOW large they are they can be used in various ways. Our trusty office helpers and interns go through every single box and examine every single bead, clean them and package them into ziploc baggies with a specific Beads of Courage info card. Some large beads go for Acts of Courage beads. Others are used in fundraisers, some might be given as gifts to people who donate to BOC, others may even be presented to a parent or other individual that stands out.

3. Delicate Beads. Like Robert said...maybe they will be made into a pendant or sun catcher and be given as a gift to a parent or sold at a silent auction. Of course, it's probably better not to set out to make extremely fragile beads but, if they happen or they're your style, we'll use them!

4. Manufactured Beads. Many of our program beads are custom manufactured for BOC. Think about it...over 10,000 kids in the program and they all get a bead every time their blood is drawn. That would be just WAY too many for artists to make! We do not use any artists beads for this purpose. However, donations of bead soup, other manufactured beads, etc., can be used in our bracelet making or workshops with kids. (Beads of Courage has periodically received HUGE donations of bead stores going out of business or artists de-stashing their studios...feel free to donate!)

5. Non-Glass Beads. Yep. We take 'em all and love them all! While glass beads are used for kids' strands, we can use all other beads too! Again, in our bracelet making stations and also when people come to events they can start their own strand with their name and choose from random beads. Also, BOC sponsors monthly workshops with kids at some of our hospital sites (more to come soon!). Our artists in residence help children with art projects and these beads can be used and are seen as very special here!

6. What else is there? You name it, we can use it. Spools of beading cable? Stretchy cord? Come on down!
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Old 2010-02-18, 10:46am
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Awesome - thank you for the thorough answers! I was wondering this myself this morning. What qualifies as a small bead - like those used for bracelets - vs. a small bead? Millimeters, if possible, so I can see how I'm, um, measuring up.
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I use shorts to make my random beads, I'd just like to know if I should be going larger for kids...

Thanks!
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Old 2010-02-18, 10:50am
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Hmmm. What DOES qualify as a small bead? I would guess small would go into the spacer range...as small as 5mm x 8mm? That's pretty small. It probably depends on the design also, as to whether it goes into the Act of Courage category. And also, what the office helper/intern is feeling on the day they're sorting.
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Kids get to choose so, it's up to them too, whether they want it or not. I believe that the Act of Courage beads are free to the hospital so, if they don't get used/chosen, they get more to add to their stash for the kids.
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Old 2010-02-18, 12:07pm
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Cool! Thanks again!
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