Thursday, February 2, 2012

Bead for Life

If you know me personally, then you have no doubt heard me talk about Bead for Life, so it’s no surprise I would choose to post about them on this blog. We could even say Bead for Life was the catalyst that moved me to make changes in my spending.

I heard about Bead for Life a few years ago on the Today show and tucked it away in my mind as something I would like to do “someday”. Well the timing finally felt right last summer and I signed up to host a Bead for Life party.

We’ve all been invited to neighborhood jewelry parties before – you know what I’m talking about, - beautiful jewelry, fun catching up with the gals in the neighborhood. But if you are (cheap) like me, you can’t help but thinking you could get the same thing at Kohl’s for a fraction of the price. You suck it up though because you know that extra cost is going to a good cause, getting your neighbor some free jewelry. Bead for Life takes the positive concepts from a jewelry party – fun with your friends, shopping, beautiful jewelry and makes it more meaningful.

The jewelry is made by Ugandan women from recycled paper, turned into beads. Each piece is unique. And to quote directly from the Bead for Life website, “The beads and shea butter become food, medicine, school fees and hope. It is a small miracle that enriches us all.” And the prices are SO reasonable. A simple bracelet is $5. Try finding something for $5 at a typical jewelry party. Necklaces range from $13 - $30. Inexpensive, unique and supports a wonderful cause, what more could you ask for?

I didn’t have a whole lot of people show up for my party in August, but those that did LOVED the jewelry. People came back and bought more and slowly it was a big success. I try to wear my Bead for Life jewelry everyday (yes, I was my best customer) and when I get a compliment I tell them all about Bead for Life.

It has been a great learning experience for my kids too. It started us on a journey to learning more about Uganda, about thinking outside of our tiny circle and about how we can help others. Bead for Life also has a teaching curriculum that can be used in youth groups, schools or for you homeschooling mamas.

So how about it? Want to help others and have some fun social time with your neighbors or friends? Head over to the Bead for Life website and sign up for a party! They send you everything you need to host the party. The best part is that your guests pick out their jewelry and take it home with them right at the party. No waiting weeks for the item to be shipped and then distributed, no additional shipping charges on the items you purchase. Bead for Life sends you all the jewelry to sell, you collect the money and send it back (they even conveniently provide you with the prepaid label to send it back) with any jewelry you don’t sell. There is no cost to you for having the party.

Right now they are having a March out of Poverty campaign and trying to reach 750 people signing up to host a party by March 31. The friendly people at the organization can answer any questions you may have and I would love to answer any questions you have for me about my experience.

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