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Art Charm Auction fundraiser for Beads of Courage

Art Charm Auction fundraiser for Beads of Courage

November 15, 2013 is the date of the fundraiser auction for Beads of Courage.   I’ll tell you all about the Art Charm Exchange later.   Many artists have created art charms……10 to swap and one for the auction.   These works of art will be auctioned off to benefit Beads of Courage.   We want to raise a lot of money for this great organization so I’ll be asking everyone I know to check out the auction.   Right now, I want to tell you about Beads of Courage.

Beads of Courage

Beads of Courage

I’m taking most of this directly from the web pages because they tell the story much better than I can.

Jean Baruch, a pediatric oncology nurse, was good at hanging IV bags and checking vital signs, but she had a harder time helping her young patients deal with the emotional effects of having cancer. “I wanted to encourage them to express their pain and fear, but I didn’t know how,” she says. “It was very frustrating.”

She discovered a solution while working at one of Paul Newman’s Hole in the Wall Gang summer camps. The camp, which hosts children and families coping with cancer and other serious illnesses, gave Baruch unique insight into how kids play. She noticed that campers of all ages love beading. They spend hours making necklaces and bracelets, then trade or share them with friends and family. “The kids wear the beads for days at a time, even in the shower,” she notes. “It seems to make them feel good.”

Hoping that beads could cheer up young cancer patients in hospitals the same way they do at camp, Baruch founded Beads of Courage in 2004.

Children who participate in the program receive colored beads that represent milestones, procedures, and acts of bravery. For instance, they get a yellow bead for an overnight hospital stay, a white one for chemotherapy, and a glow-in-the-dark bead for radiation treatment. It’s not uncommon for children to amass 10, 20 — even 35 — feet of beads. It helps young patients track and celebrate their progress, but it also gives them a way to get through upcoming procedures, says Gwendolyn Possinger, the coordinator of Children’s Memorial Hospital’s Beads of Courage program in Chicago. “A child facing another needle can look at his beads and realize that he made it through before so he can do it again,” she says.

Today the nonprofit organization supports more than 10,000 children in 60 hospitals in the United States, Japan, New Zealand, and Ireland and is funded exclusively by private donations. With the help of participating hospitals, Beads of Courage is also constantly evolving. Baruch and her team have expanded the program to include many conditions and diseases. They also focus on other ways the arts can help families dealing with a serious illness.

What a wonderful way to use the arts to benefit kids and their families who are going through agonies while their children suffer.   I know first hand how much a simple piece of jewelry can mean to a child who is suffering through numerous treatments and interminable pain.   Read my blog about my young friend, Casey, and how much a simple necklace helped him and you might understand  more about Beads of Courage.   I believe it is a wonderful project.



November 3, 2013 - Posted by | Jewelry, New Age | , , , , , , , , , , ,

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