Jewelry-Making for a Cause: Ways to Give Back

by Susanne Kathol, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®

Are you looking to get involved in a charity and help support a particular cause through jewelry-making? Well, you're not alone! Fire Mountain Gems and Beads and the jewelry-making community have partnered in giving back to our communities by "Changing the world one bead at a time®." We are inspired by the number of jewelry-artists making a difference through handmade generosity and touched by their stories.

Here's how jewelry artists are giving back ...

1. Donate Handmade Jewelry
Get involved by contacting local charities and offering to donate a jewelry piece to their live, silent or Internet auctions. Be sure to include the "suggested retail value" of the piece, based on your time and materials, and also a description of the piece and materials used.
  • Jena Fritz Tuntas is supporting the American Cancer Society for Breast Cancer Research with her bead embroidered Pink Ribbon Turtles project.
  • Jewelry-artist Heather Smith-Way makes jewelry and other projects to donate to an art auction supporting Three Gaits Inc., a therapeutic horsemanship center.
  • Another idea is to donate your jewelry creations to a local program helping homeless women find jobs or struggling students find employment. It's amazing what a new piece of jewelry can do for their confidence and success. Sharon Knox donates hand-knotted pearl necklaces to Dress for Success.
Jewelry-Making for a Cause: Ways to Give Back

Turtle Square created by Susan Graham

2. Give Time, Expertise or Supplies
Many jewelry artists give back by sharing their knowledge and expertise. For example, volunteer to teach jewelry-making classes for different groups (retirement homes, women's crisis centers, etc.), or donate your time to a local art or community education program. This is a gratifying way to make a tangible difference, as you can immediately see the benefit from your generosity. Many organizations and programs can benefit from the donation of jewelry-making supplies as well, as they make jewelry to sell or offer jewelry-making activities. You'd be surprised at how far a donation of beads, beading wire and jewelry-making tools can go in making a difference.
  • Regina Perdomo donates her time to lead a beading group for the Family Partnership Center, an organization that supports caregivers and parents of children with special needs.
  • Susy McAlvin generously donates her jewelry-making knowledge and time to teach beading to girls in a Teen Challenge Women's Home.
  • Cynthia Smith makes a difference with The Akha Women's Foundation by teaching beading to women to help improve their standard of living.
3. Donate a Portion of Sales
Donate a portion of the proceeds from handmade jewelry sales, designating a particular jewelry line or piece, to a chosen charity or cause. For example, "5% of all proceeds from the sale of birthstone bracelets will be donated to …" Make sure to advertise this. Many customers will see this as a benefit of purchasing from you, as they will be a part of giving back.
  • Tamela Burgess donates proceeds from the sales of a specially designed pendant to Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest, an organization providing lifetime quality care for formerly abused or exploited chimpanzees, while advocating for great apes through education and collaboration.
  • Ronda Krauss makes and sells a line of jewelry that helps to raise money for the Animal Refuge Foundation, a no-kill refuge for animals.
Many artists also make jewelry to donate for fundraising efforts, such as awareness jewelry to sell in support of a particular cause. View the Awareness Ribbons: Color and Cause Guide to design your own line of awareness jewelry.
  • Shannon R. Clark helps support Autism awareness by designing bookmarks, necklaces and bracelets to sell at an Autism Care Walk, with the proceeds being donated back to the walk.
  • Pattie Barlag designs special $5.00 donation heart bracelets to support a precious children's charity, Babies So Special.
  • Kathryn Houseman Lobert has a heart-warming story of how she creates beautiful awareness jewelry to give back to The Great Battle Against SIDS.
Jewelry-Making for a Cause: Ways to Give Back
4. Support Others and Share Your Cause
If you have a storefront or website consider helping to advertise a charity event or offer to pass along the information to your customers. Sharing information regarding a charity event can help support a particular cause.

  Join us!
Fire Mountain Gems and Beads supports many different charities and causes within our local, national and worldwide communities. We are proud to support a local Rotary Club Student of the Year Program, we raise both awareness and money in the jewelry-making community for the campaign against breast cancer and continue the mission of "Changing the world one bead at a time®" with donations that make a difference. Learn more about how beads and jewelry creation can make a difference in our featured articles section.

Customer Comments

We would like to share some of the customer comments we received in response to the article, "Jewelry-Making for a Cause: Ways to Give Back," featured in the a newsletter. Please keep in mind that the comments expressed below are those of our customers and do not reflect the views of Fire Mountain Gems and Beads.

"This is a very nice article about 'jewelry for a cause'. I am presently making jewelry for childhood cancer awareness and research. Childhood cancer research is really under funded, and I feel that any funds I make will put a little dent for this cause. Thank you for your article!"
- Kathy