Sunday, January 25, 2015

Beads of Courage: The role of glass beads as Arts-in-Medicine

Today I'm taking a little break from promoting the new Tucson Glass Art & Bead Festival , and I wanted to share some bead pictures of my own, but they are not beads I'll be selling at the show.

Recently I've been spending a portion of my torching time making specially matched beads for a cause near and dear to my heart.  Beads of Courage is an arts-in-medicine program that helps seriously ill children own and share their stories of strength and courage.  There are over 30,000 children participating in the international Beads of Courage program.  Through the groundbreaking work of nurse and founder Dr. Jean Baruch, this non-profit foundation has been helping children tell their stories since 2003, about the same time as I discovered glass bead making.  In the 11 years since it began, the program has grown to include over 60 hospitals not just in the United States, but abroad as well.  Jean's vision, love and energy are helping thousands of children and their families to cope with the challenges that chronic, serious illnesses bring.

These matched pairs are part of the Carry A Bead program, and will be carried by athletes, celebrities, and others who embark on amazing adventures, who will give one of the beads to a child with an inspirational note. 
These glass beads are going to help children who are facing life-threatening illnesses, and that makes my heart sing. 

Please visit the Beads of Courage website  to learn more about their amazing work, and ways that you can help them in their mission.

If you're in Tucson for the gem and bead shows and want to attend a great party and support their cause, come to Bead Inspired, and enjoy a wonderful, heartwarming evening with Jean Baruch and the Beads of Courage folks at the Metal Arts Village.  I can't wait to see who is inducted into the Bead Hall of Fame this year.

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