I feel it’s our way to give a little help and encouragement.

Bruce Dannenhauer, Journey Bead Box Committee Chairperson

The American Association of Woodturners (AAW) are active participants of the national Beads of Courage program. Many local chapters make boxes for hospitalized children to keep their beads in. The West Michigan Woodturners and the Grand River Woodturners started to make boxes for the program, but our memberships decided that they would like to have their boxes stay and be used locally. Since I was well aware of the artistic Journey Beads that are made at the Glass Center in the Parks Trade Building in Kalamazoo, it made a natural conclusion that the boxes made here should go to Bronson Children’s Hospital’s program.

It’s unusual when a hobby can be used to add to community service, which is exactly what the Bead Box program is for our clubs. The boxes offer an opportunity for the members to add some joy to the lives of the young people while they are in treatment. It is our hope that the children recover and keep the boxes for their memories all through their lives. I feel that it’s our way to give a little help and encouragement.

You can tell that some of the boxes are made and finished nicer than others. The boxes are made by members with a wide range of skill levels. The process of making each box is not easy. It takes true dedication of the maker to tackle the project and I would like say that the boxes are made with the idea that they are a way to help someone in need of encouragement and love.


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