Beads of Courage
The Beads of Courage program provides innovative, arts-in-medicine supportive care programs for children coping with serious illness, their families and the health care providers who care for them. 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. For example, a red bead for each blood transfusion, a yellow bead for each night in the hospital, a star bead for surgery, a white bead for chemotherapy. Their collection of beads becomes a tangible record of their journey. Beads of Courage is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization founded in 2005. Their programs are now in 260 children’s hospitals, supporting 60,000 children each year in the U.S., Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, and the U.K.
The AAW (American Association of Woodturners) of which Turners Anonymous is a chapter is a supporting sponsor of this very worthwhile program.
BEAD BOWLS/BOXES GUIDELINES:
Beads of Courage members may receive thousands of beads. It is desirable for your boxes to hold them all. As a result, turned or
rectangular lidded boxes need to be large. Larger is better! Recommended interior dimensions for turned boxes are: 6” diameter (5” min.), 5” height (4” min.). Recommended interior dimensions for flatwork boxes are 4″x6″x4″. Box bases should be wide enough so the box is stable and does not tip over easily. Lids for Beads of Courage boxes should be easy for small or ill children to remove or lift. Any finials should be easy for a small child to grasp and not too elaborate so they don’t break. Avoid excessively elaborate designs that may easily break or be damaged; remember, hospital rooms have limited storage space.
Finishing of boxes is extremely important! Beads of Courage members who receive these boxes are susceptible to germs/ infections/mold. Bowls that have not been properly sealed can harbor mold. Please take the time to ensure you are using a safe
finishing process that does not contain toxic materials. Also do not use finishes like linseed oil that take a long time to outgas.
All kinds of wood are beautiful! Please refrain from painting Beads of Courage boxes. Instead, highlight the beauty of the wood with clear varnish, a stain, and/or burning.
Click here for a link to the AAW’s page and more information about the program.
Our first donation was made to the Neo-Natal ICU department at Magee Woman’s Hospital on April 20th, 2023