Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The 'AHA' Moment

I have had an epiphany.   I wasn't looking for one, though I suppose one never does, they just happen.   Let me explain.

On Saturday, a lovely couple from Cleveland visited our shop.   They were in Pittsburgh for a concert.   Being the friendly folks that we are, we got to talking.   The woman inquired about any low cost, on sale beads that we may have for teenage girls.   I showed her our close-outs, but she said the girls would go through them too quickly even at that price.  

As they were shopping, the woman mentioned that they run an orphanage in Central America.   I asked, where in Central America, and she said in Honduras.   I know of the need in Honduras.   My hubby, John, took a cigar smoking trip there two years ago, and told me of the horrible poverty there.   When I mentioned that, the couple knew exactly where John had gone.   In fact, the cigar maker is a friend and benefactor of their orphanage, which lies just an hour away.  

Upon hearing that, I grabbed a bag and filled it with close-out beads for her kids.   A small gesture, to be sure.   When I gave the bag'o'beads to Karen, her eyes teared up, and she opened up about kids they help.   I was amazed when she told me of the young girl who got a scholarship for high school, how all the other kids are making jewelry to sell to help her with her expenses, and that my bag of throw away beads will cover all of her expenses through school.

That is when it hit me.   The AHA Moment.   We all have left over, unloved, unwanted beads in our stash.   Why not set up a drive to collect them at Cystal Bead Bazaar?   I told Karen and John we could collect the beads, and send them to Cleveland.   We love Pittsburgh, they said, we will be happy to drive here to collect them!   We all hugged, teary eyed, when they were ready to leave.

I thought about Karen and John, and the stories they told me.   Honduras is the poorest country in the Americas, this I knew, but they put names and stories to the poverty.   I checked out their website, and saw the happy faces of these children who have lived such hard little lives.   Now, I have to tell you that my eyes are filled with tears as I am writing this.

To think that items that mean next to nothing to us can make such a profound difference to a child!   On the website, I learned that the children also crochet.   I know that many of us are cross crafters, and many of us have a left over ball or skein of yarn from a project.   We can collect them too!

Won't you help, too?   Just drop off your unwanted and left over beads, yarn and craft supplies at Crystal Bead Bazaar.