Beading for a Cause

Leslie Rogalski Beaders make the world a better place
As individual artists, we raise money and awareness for charity and causes, and there are many organizations who dedicate themselves to improving life for people through the art and craft of beads and jewelry. Get inspired to get involved yourself by reading here about just a few of these shining examples from our beading community.

Take part to help a heart!
From March 23rd to 25th, eBay will host our third auction of jewelry donated by generous Bead Star winners to raise money for the American Heart Association. Be part of this event and bid on eBay for your favorite pieces. All proceeds go to women's heart health initiatives at the American Heart Association. Choose Bead Star for inspiration, then choose your favorite designer and bid on their work. Remember, photos of the pieces won't be posted until March 23rd.

Jerrel Pink Bracelet A little goes a long way
Pennsylvania designer Marianne Jerrell makes jewelry that she donates to many causes. Since losing her own husband to lung cancer, she has donated her work to auctions that have helped a grade school to improve the safety of the school building, another school to purchase computers for the students, a family with medical expenses due to the death of their child, a private high school to help fund a Tuition Assistance Fund, and she even held a jewelry show to help fund a local teacher adopting a child. (Facebook: Creations by Jerrell)
Beading for a cure
Layne’s Legacy is an annual beading challenge to raise money to fight colorectal cancer. Identical kits with a variety of beads are sold, and completed projects (jewelry, sculptural and decorative) are auctioned on eBay. Minus costs, all proceeds go to the National Colorectal Cancer Research Association. Created by friends of Layne Shilling, who lost her battle with cancer in 2002, Layne’s Legacy strives not only to raise awareness and fund research for a cure––but to raise awareness of beadwork and beaders. Enter the 2010 challenge (kit shown here, photo courtesy of Grace Danel) and learn more at

BEADS for education
BEADS: Beads for Education, Advancement, Development and Success––supports the Dupoto Women’s Group, twenty-five Maasai women who hand-make all of the beaded items to sell. This source of income supports more than 125 children. BEADS helps these women to produce high-quality products marketable in the United States and Europe, through volunteers and the BEADS website. Due to their success, the Dupoto Women's Group has received funding from USAID and has been selected as a role model for other women's groups in Kenya. (

Paying it forward
Nina Cooper of Nina Designs ( is known for silver and charms and has worked hard to establish a successful company. She knows it’s rough for everyone in today’s economy but feels strongly that American designers have far more opportunities than people in other parts of the world. To express her gratitude for her own success, Nina has partnered with NOVICA and their support for global handcrafts, to fund interest-free microloans to five women artisans in developing countries. She hopes to keep adding to the fund to create a permanent pool of capital to help women fulfill their potential, such as mask carver Juliana Akandas of Ghana. For more about this program, visit

A million bracelets
Beading to Beat Autism is a charity based in Louisville, Kentucky, founded by an incredible teenager named Michala Riggle (photo courtesy of To date, Michala and her team have raised over $350,000, created a private foundation (Michala Riggle Beat Autism Foundation Inc.), assembled a board of directors, and announced part two of her fund-raising plans: Sell one million bracelets in every state, build the most comprehensive autism research and treatment center in the world, and eradicate autism forever. You can donate beads or simple hand-beaded bracelets to Michala by sending to Michala Riggle Beat Autism Foundation, PO Box 991264, Louisville, KY 40269.

Love stands against everything
Kelly Botak was forever touched by film on the reality of human trafficking. A musician, Kelly played at a benefit concert at Ten Thousand Villages, and the proceeds went to LOVE146, who work toward the abolition of child sex slavery and exploitation. Wanting to do more Kelly designed a "Slave Bracelet," and from whose sales she donates 20% to LOVE146. For more about Kelly’s bracelets, visit For more about Love146, visit or donate to Love146, PO Box 8266, New Haven, CT 06530. "Justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love." Martin Luther King Jr.
Creating jewelry, conquering Lyme
A former Stringing challenge winner, Brian Mah designs and sells jewelry to benefit sufferers of Lyme disease ( Among the jewelry is a signature pendant described on the Lymelinks site as follows, "This necklace provides emergency assistance for all those who encounter medical doctors who refuse to diagnose/treat your Lyme disease or mock your suffering. It comes complete with a stainless steel hammer, a bottle with a full modern version of the Hippocratic Oath, and a stylized Lyme awareness ribbon made of Swarovski crystal bicones.” Designed and copyrighted by Brian Mah.
Bead Stars of our own
Our very own Bead Star magazine winners donate their work to an auction for the American Heart Association, including metal category winner Moira McEvoy, whose modern style and superbly crafted silver and bead bangles won her a place in Bead Star. Moira donates her work regularly to the Harvey Ball World Smile Foundation (, which benefits arts programs in public schools. Harvey Ball designed the smiley face, from which he made not a dime––but a lot of people happy.

Choose Bead Star for inspiration then help heal a heart by bidding on your favorite design. Remember, photos of the pieces won't be posted on eBay until March 23rd.

Tell us which pieces you bid on and which Bead Star projects you just have to create for yourself on Beading Daily!

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