Love in a Box

This post is going to be about the giving and the getting; it went something like this…

Some of you might have noticed the last blog post was a re-blog from UWSLoves. This is a great grassroots organization that sprung up to help people recover from Hurricane Sandy. The Red Cross has its place (and in the past I have volunteered for both the British Red Cross and the American Red Cross for many years), but local people and groups with less overhead can help in different ways. Sometimes you have to be wary of giving to people who say they are doing charitable work and sometimes, sadly, even organized charities. I have a personal connection with someone involved in this group, so when Lea Avroch of LA Jewelry Designs asked for donations to auction off for a fundraiser, I said yes. This event was put together so quickly, I had to just give her a few pieces I had lying around.

I was thrilled that some of my friends took the time to at least look at the items being auctioned off to raise money for food and supplies. One of my friends started bidding on these beautiful beads by Laurie Ament of Isinglass Design.

Then, he starting bidding on these lovely beads by Mallory Hoffman of Rosebud’s Lampwork Beads.

Now I thought, that’s odd–what is he going to do with beads? Well it turns out…he’s going to give them to me as a Holiday present! Obviously, not everyone can afford to buy beads like these for their friends. Of course, this is beyond a lovely gesture and I’m thrilled. There is also a little guilt that I have these lovely beads while there are people who’ve lost their homes and are cold and hungry right now. Getting something for myself was not the purpose of my participation.

Then, my friend said something to me that really made me pause and think about what it was he was truly giving to me…he said, I want you to have nice beads to make a piece for Spring into Art next year. To understand what this means to me, I need to tell you about some comments I’ve been getting lately from people I know. When I first told a (different) friend of mine about participating in this fundraiser she said to me, “I’d do that too if I didn’t have to work.” While it’s true I don’t go to an office everyday, I assure you, I work. I have gotten other comments similar to this and it’s patronizing and demoralizing. I work very hard on: scouting out interesting components for my designs; keeping spreadsheets of supplies and sales; labeling and organizing components for restocking; designing the jewelry; hand aging, painting, decoupaging, or making components from scratch; online marketing of my products; taking, editing, and organizing photographs of my work; and pricing and organizing my products for travel to locations to sell. For an acquaintance to say that to me is one thing, but for people who are supposed to be my friends to make comments similar to that shows they don’t understand or respect what I do everyday. She didn’t mean anything by it, but I found it hurtful and it echoes the sentiments told to me by various people over the last four years.

So his gift to me, rather than the money he spent, or the glass beads he gave me, was HIS SUPPORT FOR WHAT I DO. That has no price tag. I really cried about that. I have received my shipment from Laurie today and, sweetheart that she is, she gave me extra beads. She already donated the beads to raise money for charity and is “out-of-pocket” so she certainly didn’t have to do that. She made me cry too. So, if you want to know what love in a box looks like: think about the boxes of food people are receiving because of these artists and the generous customers who bid on their work. For me, this box of beads sitting here is a reminder of the generosity of so many, how there are many ways to touch the lives of others, and how you never know how the decisions you make to help can end up helping you in return.

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About windbent

I try to reclaim, reuse and re-love items from our past and make them modern again. I see my jewelry as a fusion of old and new, cross cultural, and spanning time periods. Because I use vintage items within my jewelry, there may be age related signs of love that make them special. Each piece will be unique or made in small batches that are similar, but still different. If I find an item I love and it doesn't want to become jewelry, I give it a new home in another art format.
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7 Responses to Love in a Box

  1. glassbead2 says:

    Thanks so much for this! I have gotten all the stuff about not having a job too. And it’s is hard to listen to, considering it often feels like all I do!

  2. Love your post. It is very hard when you are an independent business person, or don’t draw a ‘regular type’ paycheck, and therefore people don’t classify you as ‘working’. I’m so very thrilled your friend was able to help out, and to bless you with his caring and support.

  3. Lea Avroch says:

    Big hugs to you & to Guy! Friendships like you have are one in a million!

  4. What a great story and what a great friend! How awesome that he totally “gets” you. A lot of friends do not…….family also. Some of mine think I just sit down and play around and never realize all the time it takes to make, photograph, and all the rest You are blessed!

  5. Jami Shipp says:

    You again have touched my heart. You are right, artisans often get belitteld by comments made by others that don’t understand. You are also right that through our love and creativity we can help – we can help people feel good, assist one another, and let’s not forget heal. Your story did that and so much more. You have a wonderful friend who obviuosly love you and respects what you do – embrace that. You also have a kind heart and a knowing eye to see the good that came from this event, and on multiple levels. You are a wonderful caring being – never forget who you are and ‘Bravo’ to you for recognizing that though your other friend’s comment hurt, she honestly didn’t intend that hurt. You are a noble woman and I am proud to have you among my friends 🙂

  6. I wholeheartedly agree! There is so much more to our job than is visible to most people, especially our friends who are not in the industry!! What a super sweet gift you received and the support is so important!

    Hang in there! 🙂 Kris

  7. You are such an amazing, amazing person. The artist, feeling breathing resonating with life — moved by love — yet YOU sent ME two of those amazing beads that dear Guy gave you… So kind & thoughtful & generous & loving. That love in a box goes far!!

    gracias for sharing – your post, your heart, your art beads, your beauty, your work.

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