The International Society of Glass Beadmakers is proud to support Beads of Courage.
The Program is a resilience-based intervention designed to support and strengthen children
and families coping with serious illness. 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.
How it works
Upon enrollment each child is given the Beads of Courage bead color guide with a
detachable membership card. Their Beads of Courage journey begins when each child is
first given a length of string and beads that spell out their first name. Then, colorful
beads, each representing a different treatment milestone are given to the child by their
professional health care provider to add to their Beads of Courage collection throughout
their treatment as determined by the Beads of Courage Bead Guide (available from Beads
of Courage, Inc.)
The Beads of Courage® Program is available for the following:
All Program bead guides were developed in collaboration with experts in the field (nurses,
doctors, child life specialists and social workers) so that each bead guide would reflect
meaningful acknowledgment of a child's treatment journey.
How ISGB Members Can Help
Beads of Courage programs depend on donations of all kinds of handmade beads. Thank
you for your donations!
Guidelines for Glass Beads:
- Do not use reduction glass, frits, powders or enamels that leave a metallic surface
on the beads.
- Any size or shape is acceptable.
- Preferred hole size is 3/32" and larger (1/16" holes are accepted).
- The inside of the bead should be free of bead release.
- No sharp corners, sharp edges on the bead holes, cracks or protrusions that would
easily break off, including hearts with long, delicate tails.
- Beads must be fully kiln annealed.
Please remember that these beads are worn and handled by children and
should be sturdy enough to stand up to wear and tear.
How to Donate Beads
Mail donations to:
Beads of Courage
10501 E. Seven Generations Way
Tucson, AZ 85747
Print and fill out this Bead Donation Form and send with your beads.
Please do not send or directly deliver your beads to member hospitals.
All beads must be inspected, logged and packaged at Beads of Courage headquarters.
Your beads are important to us. Please be sure to package securely!
How Glass Art Beads are Used
Act of Courage Beads
Handmade glass beads are used as Acts of Courage beads. Children choose from this
selection to acknowledge special milestones, a particularly rough time or for instances
not on the regular bead guide.
Red Heart beads are used in our cardiac program.
Direct questions to Robert Simmons, Director of Bead Donations
Compassion and Courage Butterfly Program
Beads of Courage provides every member hospital one-of-a-kind, handmade butterfly
beads that are given to every parent who has experienced the loss of their child.
Butterflies are well known symbols of peace and hope. Beads of Courage graciously
thanks all member artists for their donations to maintain our Compassion and
Courage Butterfly Programs.
What happens to my donated beads?
When your beads arrive at the Beads of Courage, Inc. headquarters they are:
Counted (if not pre-counted, BOC does appreciate when an artist pre-counts the total
number of beads donated.
Separated based on size (all sizes are welcomed!), smaller beads are considered Acts
of Courage Beads. Larger focal beads are used for Bone Marrow Transplant and Cardiac
Member's Choice (for children who have heart transplants and/or cardiac surgery).
Each bead is individually packaged in a small, clear ziploc bag with the appropriate insert.
Each bag is then individually packaged for distribution and used in the clinical setting.
Beads are then sent to any one of our member hospitals based on need. All member
hospials place a regular bead refill order with BOC based on their need.