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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 2010-01-24, 2:48pm
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Default Glass Bead Donations 101: Who What Where When How

Here is helpful information about bead donations to Beads of Courage:

Who:
Anyone can donate beads!

What:
Any kind of bead can be used in one way or another. Glass, clay, polymer, seed bead, manufactured, etc.

1. Artisan-made glass beads are used as "Act of Courage" beads which are special beads that kids get to choose for special courageous acts during treatment. They can be any design or size.

2. Glass artisan-made purple hearts are used to signify end of treatment and are always needed.

3. Glass artisan-made butterfly beads are for parents who have lost a child. Please make sure they are visually appealing and durable...no delicate thin edges/wings or other delicate protruding parts like antennae. We want them to last forever and be something that a parent would want to wear and look at. Vertical holes, wire-wrapped are preferred, however all are accepted, wrapped or not.

Where:
ALL beads donated to Beads of Courage should be sent to Headquarters in Tucson:

Beads of Courage
10501 E. Seven Generations Way
Suite 161
Tucson, AZ 85747

(new address as of 4/5/11)

When:
Whenever you get them!

How:
Make sure all glass beads are annealed and holes are clean. No sharp edges or delicate areas that could break easily. Please do not use exposed reduction glass or exposed metallic surfaces.

Package safely and securely and make sure to include your contact information so Beads of Courage can send you a thank you letter.
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  #2  
Old 2010-01-24, 4:16pm
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I have a question about the butterfly beads. Can you accept them with a horizontal hole as long as the whole piece is sturdy? Or, if they must have a vertical hole do they have to be wire wrapped? I have no objection to wire wrapping them, however, I'm not very skilled in it!
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  #3  
Old 2010-01-25, 7:58am
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We will accept a horizontal hole but preferably the butterflies will have a vertical hole and will be (or can be) wire wrapped. Many times we find that parents wish to wear these special beads and this type of arrangement makes it a lot easier for them. I wire wrap all of mine before I send them out.

Also, as an addition to Lori's post above, please do not use any reduction glass/metallic surfaces on your donated beads.

Robert

Last edited by RSimmons; 2010-01-25 at 7:59am. Reason: Added a line
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  #4  
Old 2010-01-25, 10:28am
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Would boro pendants with an imploded butterfly be acceptable for the butterfly beads? That's all kinds of durable.
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Old 2010-01-25, 11:15am
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Sounds cool, I'd like to see a photo if you've got one. So long as the hanger loop is very strong they should be OK. We've had problems in the past with the loops breaking off from pendants.

Robert
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Old 2010-01-25, 11:22am
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I updated the sticky to include your other recommendations Robert. Thanks!
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Old 2010-01-25, 2:32pm
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This is wonderful. I have never made a butterflies before but I will give it a try. I do enjoy making critters and have alot already made. Do I need to wire wrap my critters also?
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Old 2010-01-25, 6:29pm
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The critters don't really need to be wire wrapped as they will usually go directly onto a child's bead strand. A purple heart with a vertical hole or a butterfly need to be wire wrapped because these beads are often worn alone on a separate strand. I spoke to one mom recently who has worn her daughter's butterfly on a neck chain every day for a couple of years. Wire wrapping makes this a lot easier from the start.

Thanks for your thoughtfulness and your donations.

Robert
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Old 2010-01-26, 9:46am
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There was a question in another thread about the wire-wrapping. Hearts do NOT need to be wire wrapped. If the hole is vertical we CAN wire wrap them and they can then be used as pendants for parents.

Horizontal-holed purple hearts can be used for kids' strands.

Butterfly beads also do NOT need to be wire-wrapped (we can do that when it gets to headquarters) however, the hole should be vertical so that it's possible. If you only know how to make them with a horizontal hole, please send those also. We can always use every glass bead!
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Old 2010-03-17, 11:32am
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I have a question: how do the beads that are sent in get distributed? Thanks.
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Old 2010-03-17, 9:35pm
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Hi Kathy.

Karen in the office receives the boxes and goes through every single bead. Makes sure they're clean and nothing sharp or delicate that can be harmful. She then packages each bead into a little plastic ziploc with a Beads of Courage hang tag specially for Acts of Courage beads.

When a new hospital program is started, part of their introductory boxes of beads include an amount of Acts of Courage beads. Hospitals know that they are supposed to call when they are running low on beads and when they do, they are sent more. (I don't know the amounts of either the start up beads or additional beads that are sent).

There is no discrimination of where beads go or who gets what. We have had requests that some beads, after being sent to headquarters, be distributed to the artist groups home hospital site. Jean says that they always try to do their best with that.

Act of Courage beads are distributed to kids at the discretion of the nursing staff. They are for a particularly tough time where courage is shown and when they feel a kid needs an extra boost. (In between Act of Courage beads they get lots of others for all of their procedures and milestones). When trained by Beads of Courage, nursing staff are told, "if you have a question as to whether to give an Act of Courage bead for something, GIVE IT."

Children get to choose their own Act of Courage bead out of the stash on hand at the hospital.

I think that maps the path of a bead. If there are more specific questions, please ask!
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Last edited by LoriGreenberg; 2010-03-17 at 9:38pm.
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Old 2010-03-18, 6:44am
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Thanks Lori! That is great info. We are going to propose to our chapter that we designate BOC as a regular project and start making beads specifically to suit current needs. I want to be able to fully inform them on the process.
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Old 2010-03-18, 9:29am
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Lori, are the beads sanitized before they're sent out - thinking allergens that could be present, colds, etc...?
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  #14  
Old 2010-03-19, 10:37am
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You know, I'm not really sure. I'll check on that. I know they're really careful and that's why it is so important that bead holes are clean. We have our board meeting today! I'll try to remember to ask that.
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Old 2010-03-19, 10:38am
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That would be very cool Kathy! People like to have a task!
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Old 2010-03-20, 8:03pm
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I know the preference is 3/32 holes, but I use 1/16 regularly and have a lot of those I could send. Is it really hard for the kids to string 1/16 beads?
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Old 2010-03-21, 8:28am
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Quote:
Lori, are the beads sanitized before they're sent out - thinking allergens that could be present, colds, etc...?
There's not a regular sterilization process, but all of the beads are checked to be sure that they are clean, inside and out. They are then packaged individually in small plastic bags to keep them clean during the shipping and storage process. I believe that any beads going into special situations are cleaned again just to be sure that they're ok. The beads I make or collect and ship are fully processed (no bead release, ends checked and fixed of needed, beads washed) before they go out the door, so they are ready to go when they reach Tucson.

Robert
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Old 2010-03-21, 8:32am
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Thanks, Robert - Mine are sent in monthly, so they're pretty clean, and of course bead release is cleaned out well and no sharps or fragile ones. Just wondered...
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Old 2010-04-03, 2:10pm
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Quote:

Also, as an addition to Lori's post above, please do not use any reduction glass/metallic surfaces on your donated beads.

Robert
Does this mean no silver foil used in the beads? Most of what I have, and sent in the past has at least some silver foil in the surface of the bead.
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Old 2010-04-03, 4:29pm
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Hi Tammie.

They will be used for something! As a rule though, no metallic surfaces that can come into contact with the skin for the kids.

Thanks for your donations!
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Old 2010-05-22, 8:58am
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Quote:
I know the preference is 3/32 holes, but I use 1/16 regularly and have a lot of those I could send. Is it really hard for the kids to string 1/16 beads?
Bump for this question.
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If we are able to, should we wire wrap any beads on 1/16 to make it easier for the kiddos?
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Old 2010-05-23, 9:57am
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No, you don't need to wire wrap the 1/16 beads. the strand material that we use will fit nicely in that size hole. The 3/32 is a little easier to string, but it's OK to send the 1/16 without any wire wrapping.

Sorry it took a while to get back to you on this.

Robert
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Old 2010-05-23, 11:04am
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Quote:
No, you don't need to wire wrap the 1/16 beads. the strand material that we use will fit nicely in that size hole. The 3/32 is a little easier to string, but it's OK to send the 1/16 without any wire wrapping.

Sorry it took a while to get back to you on this.

Robert
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No problem on the timing.
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Old 2010-05-23, 11:43am
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Thanks for bumping this thread.I have alot of beads I would love to send.
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Old 2010-05-25, 4:52am
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Lori,
Can I ask if they is an European organisation too for Beads of Courage?
I'd like to participate but I don't know if we have this in Europe.
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Old 2010-05-25, 5:42am
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There is not yet a Beads of Courage program in Europe. We're in the US, Japan and New Zealand at the moment but are constantly growing.

Robert
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Old 2010-05-25, 9:00am
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Thank you for the information Robert.
I have to make an international package some day then.
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Old 2010-05-25, 9:38am
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We would certainly appreciate your support.
Thanks
Robert
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Old 2010-05-25, 6:23pm
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I think there were talks of a program in Ireland.
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Old 2010-06-04, 10:43am
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I would like to offer up some sort of support too. But what i would need is beads to be sent to me to prove their existence and I can then send a box to you.
What I'd like to offer is anyone willing to make beads...
If they send me 10 beads, I will gift them a $15 Gift Certificate for my store.
Would these be something we could do to encourage some handmade beads for these kids?
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