I would like to take a minute to highlight a local family that has members whom have and currently serve in the forces. They also have a very crafty mother who has taken up a cause within the cause. I met Geri Stuart at a Made in Vancouver event a few weeks ago. I passed by her booth and saw these fantastic bracelets, earrings, necklaces and even bags. I did a double take because there was something oddly familiar about them. That is when I realized that they were made of soda-pop tabs. I of course, had to pick them up and handle them to figure it all out because that's what OCD crafters do! Any-who, Geri and I got talking and she told me her story. I was so moved that I begged her to let me do a post about her and her heart warming efforts to bring joy to women and children hundreds of miles away. Here is a dibble of what she had to say. Please leave a comment to show your support for Geri's efforts or just to say hi (we will forward all comments to her).
"Several years ago my youngest son asked if I knew a quick, easy, inexpensive way to make chain mail. Since I didn't know I did a search online. I found a way to use pop tabs and at the same time saw how to make jewelry."
"My eldest navy son got me started in January 2012 sending my upcycled jewelry to Afghanistan for the troops to hand out as goodwill gifts in the villages they visit. I didn't learn until just before his tour ended in June that he had been passing on the jewelry to a FET member (Female Engagement Team) because only female troops are allowed to talk to the Afghan women themselves or search inside the houses. So I have continued my home based business with the current focus of pop tab jewelry and selling enough to pay for the necessary supplies and postage."
Many people have generously collected pop tabs (with 2 complete holes), donated buttons, beads, jewelry findings, unwanted / old jewelry, and money to help me maintain this mission."
If anyone would like to donate, such items can be dropped off or mailed to the Columbia Presbyterian Church office, 8715 St. Helens Ave, Vancouver Wa, 98664, with the contact name of Geri Stuart. If you would like to purchase any of her jewelry too you can visit her at MouseHouseDecor01.webstore.com. I think that what Geri is doing is fantastic and I am proud to be a small part of it. Happy Memorial Day!