one for one


It’s me, back to the cute beads again. You probably know all about my weird relationship with cute beads. I blogged about it a while ago (here) so I won’t bore you with the details again.

I think I’ve finally found a way to make peace with those gosh-darn-it-they’re-so-cute little critters. From this day on, they’ll be made not just for their ability to make people smile, but also, for their ability to – well – make people smile. Hear me out.

It’s always nice to feel like you can give something back to the world. I’ve been thinking a lot about what I can do to in that department. Looking at various charities… reading… thinking… waiting for something to grab me. After thorough exploration of the options, I realized that what I was looking for was right in front of me.

I like and appreciate and support businesses who’ve worked some kind of charitable giving into the way they do things. One model that I really like is the ‘one for one’ approach. When someone buys something, the company gives one to someone in need. TOMS does it with their (awesome) shoes. Warby Parker does it with their (awesome) glasses.

You might be thinking, who really NEEDS a bead? Well, actually, there are people who do. Brave little people, undergoing treatment for serious illnesses in hospital, need beads. There is a wonderful program called Beads of Courage that provides beads to these children in an effort to support and encourage them, and to celebrate milestones in their treatment. More information on the program is available at their website here: There are a lot of different facets to what they do for the kids, their families, and for health care providers involved in their treatment, but the basic description is as follows:

“The Program is a resilience-based intervention designed to support and strengthen children and families coping with serious illness. Through the program children tell their story using colorful beads as meaningful symbols of courage that commemorate milestones they have achieved along their unique treatment path. Upon enrollment each child is given the Beads of Courage bead color guide with a detachable membership card. Their Beads of Courage journey begins when each child is first given a length of string and beads that spell out their first name. Then, colorful beads, each representing a different treatment milestone are given to the child by their professional health care provider to add to their Beads of Courage collection throughout their treatment as determined by the Beads of Courage Bead Guide (available from Beads of Courage, Inc.)
The Beads of Courage® Program is available for the following:
  • Cancer and Blood Disorders
  • Cardiac Conditions
  • Burn injuries
  • Neonatal ICU Families
  • Chronic Illness

The amazing thing about this program is that the most special beads that the kids receive are handmade by glass beadmakers. Those of us who love beads know that there is a certain kind of joy that comes from adding something new and special to your collection. Imagine if you were lying in a hospital bed, being poked and prodded and monitored and fussed over, feeling crappy and sad… and then… and THEN… somebody brought you a whole bunch of cool handmade glass beads to choose from?

The thought of that kind of makes chills go down my spine!

So, from now on, whenever you purchase a ‘cute’ Uglibead, I’ll donate one just like it to the Beads of Courage program.

One for one.

And double the smiles 🙂


8 thoughts on “one for one

    • Julie, what a great way to offer support, I would like to be able to experience some of your beads – close up – some time if you are visiting your parents could you bring some – Carol had also mentioned it with be fun to see them, we are of the old school you know – we have to feel things !!!
      Anyway, it is just an idea.
      Keep up the good work!

      • Ida – that is a great idea! I will have to keep it in mind the next time we come down for a visit. It would be great to see you and Carol too!

        I know what you mean – the beads are so different in person. You could never get the true feeling of them just from looking at the photos.

        So nice to hear from you!!!!


  1. Wow I have just spent 2 hours reading your blog and watching your videos. I found you in Soda Lime Times. So surprised you are in Edmonton. I am in Grande Prairie. Just spent 3 days in Edmonton learning long arm quilting at Sparrow Studioz. In same strip mall as a glass shop!
    I have been making beads for 1 1/2 yrs. I am so grateful to read about how long it takes to be happy with results. I feel like I am struggling more now than I did in the first month! Am slogging along until something clicks for me. Just ‘mastered’ the sharp ends and now have droopy beads. Am persevering and surely I will twig on what I started doing wrong. But have a nice collection of about 30 doopy beads.:-) Watching videos to see if I see what I am doing differently. Was really happy with some results for a month or so and now this. But melting glass just intrigues me. I love your blog. You write as if I am sitting in the room visiting with you! I am a quilt pattern designer and quilt instructor. Really needed another hobby! Not!! Now I am pulled between 2 things to play with every day. Lucky me.

    • Hi Susan – welcome to the Blog! Glad you like it. Maybe there is some unspoken connection between quilting and glass beadmaking – one of my bead buddies is an avid quilter and designer (and a much more dedicated blogger than I am!). Her site is really interesting – and for a non-quilter like myself, educational too – it’s Maybe it’s just that people are drawn to the colors and patterns in both… there’s also an intricacy and precision that you need for both beadmaking and quilting…. I bet there are a lot of beadmaking quilters out there!

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