Today I was an invited presenter at the Watchung Hills Regional High School, where I demoed beads for two art classes. One of the (NINE) art teachers, Michelle Ravettina has adopted BOC and the whole school is on-fire with projects and events related to BOC, all because of Michelle. The art students are making polymer and paper beads, in sewing they are making bead bags (with sewn on BOC labels), in wood shop they are making beautiful bead boxes. Not just a few, I think they already have over 50 boxes, a ton of bags, and a many many bracelets. There are banners and posters everywhere in the building, and the teachers I met were wearing strings of letter beads spelling their name, ending with the BOC white ceramic bead.
It was so inspirational and rewarding to see teenagers turned on by acts of charity and goodness. Michelle has come up with the idea of "bead sponsors". She receives beads from BOC and anyone can sponsor a bead for $5. These are pretty much the beads that all of us send in, just ordinary ones, not special ones. For that donation, they can write a note that gets packaged with the bead, when it is given to a child. I read a few of the notes and was so touched I had to turn away. Each card had a personal cheery message, for the unknown recipient.
Think about it, basically the student shells out $5 for the "opportunity" to pick the bead, write the note, put it in a bag, and hand it back to the program. They have raised hundreds of dollars.
They are also making bracelets and returning them with inspirational notes that are amazing. I couldn't get my pics to attach to this (I'll try to put them on LE) but I just wanted to share with you how uplifted I am to know that ordinary people can be so GOOD. Michelle studied to be an art teacher at NYU, where she was interested in art for social justice. I'm sure BOC could use 100 more like her.
I am grateful to Ashlee and Lori at BOC who connected me to Michelle and the High School, because we are only about 30 minutes away from each other. I intend to participate in more events with them going forward. I hope my facts about the program are close to accurate, it was a long day, but I just had to share. Jeri