Since the devastating events of March 11th, there has been a global effort to help Japan in its time of need. Organizations were immediately formed, each with the intent to provide assistance and resources for the people of Japan. There is still much to be done, however, which is why the Arizona-based retail store Charity Charms is offering its new “Helping Hand for Japan” bracelet.
Charity Charms was launched seven years ago and works with non-profit organizations to help raise funds and spread awareness with an innovative product. Kay McDonald, the creator of Charity Charms, states they have worked with over 250 organizations worldwide.
“We create custom charms for charities using their logo or concept,” McDonald says. “When people wear the charms they help spread the word about the charity.”
All the Charity Charms products are earth-friendly. They only use recycled pewter and sterling silver, and everything is made in Arizona using local non-profits to assemble the jewelry. Twenty-five percent of all proceeds for Charity Charms’ regular products go to the purchased charm’s charity.
The “Helping Hand for Japan” bracelet is a new concept for Charity Charms. Not only do 100% of the net proceeds go to benefit Japan but, for the first time, it is a charm geared towards a disaster-related cause. Kay McDonald and her cousin who lives in Japan, Debbie Howards, collaborated on this effort.
“When we decided that we needed to do something for Japan and that we wanted to do something together, we researched different charities online that would give money back,” McDonald says.
The final choice was the U.S.-Japan Council Earthquake Relief Fund, for which they hope to raise $10,000 in order to support ground services providing immediate relief and long-term building for the Tohoku region of Japan. The GivingBands cost $24.50 individually, but groups and other organizations are encouraged to buy Group Fundraising Packs which include 100 bands and will put $2,000 towards the charity goal. They can be purchased online until June or at local retailers such as WriteOns, Kiss Me Kate and Burland Jewelry.
“The other really important component is that when you wear this bracelet people go, ‘What is that?’ and they ask about it,” McDonald says. “It keeps the issue alive.”
The bracelet consists of two eco-friendly silicone bands, one red and one white, to represent the Japanese flag and two pewter charms attached.
“We used a generic charm which we created ourselves — the helping hand — and added an extra charm that says ‘For Japan,’ ” McDonald says.
The concept behind these charms makes it possible for other organizations interested in spreading the word and contributing to use the band for their own fundraising. The generic aspect of the product, McDonald says, also makes it easy to alter and distribute the product again for future disaster-related efforts.
But McDonald says Charity Charms has a long way to go regarding their progress on the $10,000 goal.
“We hope that people will band together to lend a helping hand to Japan,” McDonald says.
To learn more about Charity Charms and to purchase your own band, visit their website.