But when a group of local woodturners were challenged to create just such containers, they accepted. The results were 10 wooden containers that will be sent to a nonprofit that uses art to instill courage in sick children.
The Beads of Courage program was started in 2003 in Phoenix, Arizona. It’s arts-in-medicine approach is designed to support children and their families as they cope with serious illness like cancer and blood disorders, cardiac conditions, burn injuries and chronic illnesses. Beads are used to mark their milestones during their treatment and recovery.
While some of the beads are mass-produced beads, others are one-of-kind glass beads made by volunteer artists to mark major milestones.
The president of the Wiregrass Woodturners group saw that the American Association of Woodturners was seeking volunteers to make boxes that could be used to hold beads for the program. The woodturners in the group, which meets the first Saturday of each month at 9:30 a.m. at Landmark Park, created the unique wooden containers that will be shipped to the nonprofit and used for the program’s “treasure boxes.”
“When they’re by themselves at night or they have a treatment – it’s a bead of courage,” said woodturner Paul Cox. “It’s courage for the kids.”
Cox said the idea is that the containers will become something the children and their families will keep.
“We make them with that in mind,” Cox said. “Each one is unique.”