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July 27, 2007

Indulge yourself -- for a good cause

Bead_bracelet My turn to suggest how you can use your baser instincts to help the poor! :-) In all honesty, the last place I expected to find a way to reach out to suffering Ugandans was in the pages of my September issue of BeadStyle magazine. More often, that's where I go when I'm looking to indulge myself.

But here we have an intriguing blurb on how you can actually combine those two goals:

BeadforLife is a nonprofit organization that creates jobs for a group of Ugandan people fleeing war or living with HIV/AIDS. Before joining the group, which BeadforLife calls Kakwanzi power, these 39 women and one man earned less than $2 per day. Today, they earn $145 per month. The artisans recycle calendars, posters, and pamphlets from local markets, cut the paper into strips, roll the strips into beads, and varnish each bead twice. The beads are not painted; the brilliant colors come from the print on each page. A 2-oz. (57g) bag is $12.

BeadforLife's website shows just how beautiful the results of this unusual process can be. (The image at right is based on a BeadStyle design using these beads.) If you're a beader, or interested in getting into beading -- I'll warn you right now, it's highly addictive and rather messy to boot -- this looks like a great way to spend some of your bead budget.

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I hosted a Bead for Life party several years ago and was really impressed with the quality of the beads. I'm drawn to Uganda (I think there's a missions trip in my future) and this was an excellent way I could help out while I'm still unable to go.

I highly recommend their stuff and organization!

Diane Singer

What a great project! I plan to order some of their products for Christmas gifts. Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

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