A Little Bead Goes a Long Way

A lot of people donate their time and money to help those less fortunate during the holidays, and it’s always a nice reminder of the holiday spirit. The YWCA in Tacoma, Washington, helps provide shelter and basic necessities to women and their children who are victims of domestic violence. Artbeads.com President and Co-Owner Cynthia Kimura has been involved with the YWCA, and I wanted to share her story with you today. In her own words, here is Cynthia’s story about getting involved:

I have been involved with the YWCA women’s shelter in Tacoma, Washington, for almost four years. During one of my visits, I saw some jewelry made by Miriam, the director, for their lunch auction that is held every April. This gave me the idea to make and donate some jewelry for the shelter to sell. Really excited by this, Miriam thought about creating a special jewelry auction event. As for me, I asked some of our Artbeads employees and friends to help, and they all happily volunteered their time and creativity.

Now we are in our third year of being actively involved with this event, and last month in November we donated 247 pieces of finished jewelry. All the beads and materials were donated by Artbeads, and I wouldn’t have been able to do this wonderful project without the help of Cheryl Laidlaw, Valerie Bruderer, Cheri Carlson, Teri McCamish, Brianne Hanson, Megan Pardee, Lisa Flowers, Jesica Thompson, my mom and even our young daughter.

Fund-raising at this event was also made possible thanks to jewelry donated by The Bead Factory in Tacoma, five artists that were making unique jewelry on the spot that was later auctioned off, decorative boxes made by YWCA employees, contributions made by various local businesses, numerous other participants that worked the auction, and of course the generous contributions of those attending “Jewelers for Joy.”

All of the efforts paid off—the YWCA raised more than $28,000 at their 2011 auction! This was an amazing feat and will be extremely beneficial to the program. The YWCA recently lost a large amount of its federal funding, so the money raised will certainly be helpful. Cynthia closed with:

I have to say that it is always a joy to help these women that are facing unimaginable circumstances, and hope that these kinds of events will inspire others to increase their support for those in need.

Below are a few pictures from the November auction that Cynthia was kind enough to share with me.

If you would like to learn more about the YWCA and becoming involved, visit their website at http://www.ywca.org/.


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    • Cory
    • December 9, 2011

    Wow, what an awesome way to raise money!! Having Artbeads backing you with the beads to do this is incredible, I bet it was fun and obviously very helpful to the YMCA and women in need! Congrats on a sucessful event!!

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