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Students raise money for BeadForLife

Posted: August 20, 2013 - 4:56pm
Becky Lam tries to decide what jewelry to buy at the BeadforLife event at Southern Wesleyan University. BeadForLife is a nonprofit which helps women in Africa overcome poverty. The jewelry is made in Uganda.  CHARMAIN Z. BRACKETT/SPECIAL
CHARMAIN Z. BRACKETT/SPECIAL
Becky Lam tries to decide what jewelry to buy at the BeadforLife event at Southern Wesleyan University. BeadForLife is a nonprofit which helps women in Africa overcome poverty. The jewelry is made in Uganda.

Becky Lam perused the brightly colored beaded necklaces and earrings.

“I’m looking for something with pink and other colors,” said Lam, who wanted something versatile enough to match more than one outfit.

The jewelry, created by women in Uganda, came through an organization called BeadforLife, which works to help women become free from poverty.

Six Southern Wesleyan University students decided to put together a party on Aug. 14 at the school’s North Augusta campus to raise money and awareness for the organization after one of them, Vonda Butler, gave a presentation on BeadforLife in a marketing management class.

She had seen the jewelry in a magazine.

“Our professor encouraged us to follow up with a party,” Butler said. “All of us said, ‘Let’s do it.’ We believe in the cause.”

While the turnout was “relatively small,” according to Butler, the party plus presales brought in about $950 for the organization.

The women also played a video and had printed information about BeadforLife during the event.

Mary Crenshaw was another shopper at the party. She’d never heard of the organization until someone told her about the party.

“I thought it was a worthy cause, and I wanted to support it,” she said.

Women living in severe poverty in Uganda make the beads out of recycled paper – magazines, calendars and posters. They cut them into triangular strips and roll them. Once they are rolled, an acrylic-based, eco-friendly sealant is added to them. They are then fashioned into necklaces of various sizes, bracelets and earrings. Also on sale were shea butter products.

Butler said the group might try another party because, according to the BeadforLife Web site, there were no other parties slated for South Carolina and only one in Georgia.

She said they may look for some venue that would have a larger crowd.

For more information on the organization, visit www.beadforlife.org.

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