Part of the mission of Florida West Coast Bead Society is to give back to our community. Our members make beaded jewelry for donation to the following two organizations:

1.  Sarasota Memorial Hospital – Gift Shop and Oncology Unit – 100% of the proceeds from the sales of our donated beaded items in the Gift Shop, including badge reels, badge holders, eyeglass leashes, earrings, and bracelets, goes to the Oncology Unit, allowing them to purchase some unfunded items for the benefit of their patients. We make and donate beaded bracelets, keychains, and assorted jewelry items given for the SMH Outpatient Oncology Unit to be given as gifts to patients needing a pick-me-up in their day. Every October during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we partner with the SMH Oncology Unit in a Bake and Bead sale to raise funds for the unit and supporting “Make Strides Against Breast Cancer”.

2.  The Pines of Sarasota – many of our donated beaded items are sold through The Pines two thrift shops with 100% of the proceeds going to directly support their resident clients. Some of the beaded items we donate are given to residents as holiday or special occasion gifts or prizes. The Pines of Sarasota provides rehabilitation services; assisted living; long-term, compassionate skilled nursing care that provides assistance with the activities of daily living; Alzheimer’s and memory care; and educational services for residential and at-home caregivers. Additionally, we do jewelry-making projects with residents of The Pines several times each year. http://pinesofsarasota.org/

3.  Sarasota YMCA Youth Shelter – we recently added this new service project, approved by our members at our July 3, 2017 meeting. The YMCA Youth Shelter is a short-term residential facility for kids in crisis. The youth, aged 10-17, stay in the shelter for 30 days at most--and some may be repeat clients. We schedule sessions to do beading projects--making such things as memory wire bracelets; elastic bracelets; stringing of bracelets or necklaces; and possibly even some basic bead weaving projects. https://www.sarasotaymca.org/youthshelter/

Once a month we hold a Service Project Workday at one of our local bead stores. They have graciously allowed us to use their shops as a place to get together to make our beaded projects for SMH and The Pines. All are welcome to attend.

The Pines thrift shops also accept donations of all beaded items, so if you have any jewelry that you’d like to pass along that’s in good condition, please bring it to a future meeting and we will tag it and donate it along with the new items we’ve made.

4.  Loveland Center of Venice/Loveland Village. Any leftover loose beads or broken beaded items that can be repurposed into new jewelry are donated to the Loveland Center of Venice for programs they do with their resident and day clients. In August 2017, our members voted to expand our service projects to include volunteering at Loveland Center to assist with their weekly beading classes. Loveland Center is a facility that helps adults with developmental disabilities live their lives to the fullest. They offer educational, employment, and housing programs for their clients and recently opened Loveland Village to provide residences for their clients to live as independently as possible. Loveland Center holds an annual sale of jewelry and other gift items made by their clients. http://www.lovelandcenter.org/