Beads That Change Lives

Have you ever looked at your recycled paper bin and seen a pile of colorful necklaces and bracelets? Yeah, neither have I. But now, I have a new vision for what recycled paper can be. BeadforLife is an organization that helps Ugandan women fight poverty by turning that paper into beautiful beads. These women also gather shea nuts and press them into shea butter for cosmetics and soaps. Here's where you come in: BeadforLife asks people to purchase their gorgeous wares to support these women. How about a few bright single-strand bracelets ($5 each, pictured), or some loose beads ($10-15 for tons!) to create a DIY jewelry situation?

If you want to do more, you can host a Bead Party with friends! BeadforLife will send you all the supplies at no cost. That means you'll get soaps, lip balms, and jewelry (earrings, bracelets, necklaces -- so pretty!), plus biographies of some of the beaders and instructions on how to roll your own beads. You'll have friends over, and they can purchase anything they like. Whatever you don't sell goes back to BeadforLife in a pre-paid return envelope. Easy!

The beads and shea butter turn into income, food, medicine and school fees -- not to mention a feeling of hope that affects everyone involved in this venture. So, who's hosting a bead party (so much more fun than mini-golfing for your birthday, btw)? Sign up here.