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2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit

BeadforLife

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Economic Development, International, International Economic Development, Microfinance

Mission: BeadforLife creates sustainable opportunities for women to lift their families out of extreme poverty by connecting people worldwide in a circle of exchange that enriches everyone.

Results: Over the last eleven years we have accomplished a lot: we have our pilot program, Beads to Business, which has facilitated the creation of nearly 3,000 small businesses; our Girls Education program, where hundreds of girls have attended school that would have otherwise been out of reach; we launched an agricultural initiative, teaching rural women farming practices; and finally, our Street Business School, giving women the opportunity to start businesses sooner and with less capital.

Target demographics: Women living in extreme poverty

Geographic areas served: Uganda, Africa

Programs: Enterpreneurial & Agro-Business Training Girls Education

Community Stories

33 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Mary363

Client Served

Rating: 5

I love the beads. They are colorful and unique. I have bought tons for myself and for gifts. But more than the beads is the story behind them. I wear them proudly, knowing I am supporting a woman to possibly educate herself and grow her own business. I also love the shea butter soap.

Client Served

Rating: 4

BeadforLife provides high quality hand-crafted jewelry and accessories. The jewelry is very colorful and original. I bought a number of items as gifts.

Rachel147

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

BeadforLife is an incredible organization! Many people rave about their jewelry and shea products but what they are doing is much. much more than that. BeadforLife provides entrepreneurial training to women in Uganda, inspiring and equipping them to become successful entrepreneurs.

Many organizations that do work like them are for-profit companies, but not BeadforLife! They reinvest everything back into their programs to help even more women! I wish there were more organizations like them!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Bead for Life is an incredible organization with wonderful products!

1 Danny16

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is truly one exceptional company. Their mission is simple and impactful. Being a woman myself, I am always supportive of organizations looking to help empower women to succeed in life through their own hard work and perseverance. It is great to know that when you donate/purchase products from this organization, your money is really being used and not wasted/lost in the abyss. I personally participated in Live Below the Line this year and my donations went straight to this great company. Great great organization that I am lucky to have been involved with.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Beadforlife impresses me. Their social enterprise business model works. The story is great - giving women a path to independence and strength. The product is strong. The price point is right on! I work in nonprofit leadership and have been in the sector most of my life. I'd love to see into the inner workings but from this donor/customer's standpoint, I think it's brilliant!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

All my experiences with products from Bead for Life have been excellent. I wear my bracelets and necklaces often. They are beautiful and comfort. I was also delighted by the wonderful soaps and bath products. This organization offers so much, is professionally run and makes you feel good and look good too!

1 Callise F.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I loved the jewellery I received from Bead for Life. It was so colourful!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I co-hosted a bead party with a friend - so easy and so much fun! And people loved the bead jewelry! I not only love the bracelets and necklaces, but also the shea products - the scrub makes my skin incredibly soft, the lip balm fees great, and I love the scent of the body cream and the soap. And to think that just by enjoying all these things I am helping women on the other side of the world! A total win-win!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

BeadforLife is an amazing non-profit working with women in Uganda to provide opportunities to rise out of poverty. This is done through the sale of paper-beaded jewelry made by the women. They are graduated through the program after months of training and empowerment workshops. This graduation model creates lasting impact in the women's individual economic status, and also allows BeadforLife to touch many many lives in Uganda. Wonderful program!

1 Christine85

Client Served

Rating: 5

I love the jewelry and shea products from BeadforLIfe. It is inspiring to me as a young woman to be able to wear something that was handmade by other women who are building a future for themselves and their families, just like I am trying to do. I know I have a much much much easier life in the U.S. than they do in Uganda. But I feel connected. I love how the purchases I have made always arrive with such attention to detail and papers that tell the story of the product. I will choose BeadforLife when looking for a special gift for family, friends, and myself.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Our MOPS group decided to have a Beadforlife party and I'm on the creative team and I headed up the party it was the best thing that I could have done. Beadforlife touch my heart and many other moms in our group as well. I being a crafter myself it just spoke to me and with what Beadforlife is doing for these women and their families is just amazing. They are giving them the tools to live a better life a hand up not a handout. God bless them in all they do today and in the future.

1 Ruth25

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The BEADFORLIFE program dose not give handouts it sets women up to prosper in life with their families. It teaches them how to start making their lives better and gives them an opportunity to go to school and learn more for themselves. And in return their kids learn to do things better also, instead of being beat down all the time. The program is wonderful and has helped a lot of families. Not just individuals. I have several of the Bangle Bracelets. I was given the first one and Loved it and after I read the story of how it was made I have been sold on them every since. I bought the rest and tell everyone I get around about them.

1 Michael137

Board Member

Rating: 5

BeadforLife is thoughful about the way it works with the women in Uganda, always looking for the best approaches to improve their lives. BeadforLife is not about handouts, but rather providing opportunities to the most needy. Puchasing the Beads or Shea products here in North America and Europe directly funds the entrepreneurial training and puts money in their hands. I've been so impressed with the sustainability approach in everything they do

2 Ginger F.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had a few bead parties over the last couple years. Each one has been a little different. Some that say they have heard of BeadforLife and others are just learning about it. A few people stop and admire the beads and then after a minute or so realize, "They are made of paper! that is amazing." I love the connection I have made with people in telling the BeadforLife story. There are some that get many necklaces. "It's for a good cause" and give them for gifts with a great message in that little sivler tag. Or then just a little girl that can't afford anything else at the craft fair wanders by and spends 20 minutes picking out that one perfect bangle bracelet to give to her mom for her birthday. For me I wear my beads almost everywhere. when people ask or comment I stop and tell the story of the women in Uganda that make these beautiful beads and how they work to change their life and their famiies life. That after they learn the trade they go on to start their own buisnesses. It gives me shivers. Recently I went to the dentists. The last time I was there i had been wearing a 3-strand necklace, and had told the assistant all about the program. As I stepped into the office she greeted me and said "Oh before we start i want to show you..." she went to her bag and pulled out a Katoga long necklace. It made me smile form ear to ear. A lady in the waiting area said "OH taht is gorgeous, so many colors." so before going in for my appointment I left her with a little note in hopes that she too would pass the messag on. If we all tell one person and they tell one person one bead can change a life!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a woman who has held several Bead Parties over the course of the past 4 years I can only say "I love Bead for Life!" This is not your regular "sell from home to earn prizes" type of party. The beads are already bought and paid for by the Bead for Life organization! My Bead Parties help keep the organization doing the great work that it has sustained now for years and years; assisting overwhelmed Ugandan women in getting control of their financial lives and providing training, friendship, and leadership skills so they go from being beggars on the street to successful business women building community and self-sufficiency. You get to contribute to these amazing programs by buying lovely bracelets, necklaces, earrings or shea butter products when you attend or host a Bead for Life "Bead Party." No one can say no to spending $5 on a handcrafted bracelet that is unique because each bead is handmade from paper. Add to that the fact the paper is being reused! Bead for Life is as good as an organization can get! I can see the work that my dollars support! It feels so good!

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Great group , needs to expand. They make a difference in women's lives and future generations.

1 Casey6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Beadforlife is an unbelievable nonprofit organization! Women over in Uganda handmake jewelry from recycled paper. Each individual bead is rolled then strung into either a bracelet or necklace then dip in lacquer and then hung to dry. These beautiful beads are sold world wide and the the proceeds go back to the women in Uganda for food, education, healthcare and so much more. I had recently did a Beadforlife Bead Party. They had sent me a box full of merchandise made by the women in Uganda and my goal was to sell everything in the box! I had several bead parties where I could teach others about how the beads are made as well as the poverty that the people in Uganda live in and how we can make a difference by buying the beads they make! This is one of the most rewarding nonprofit organizations!!!

2 Wendy47

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Love the beads, great range of shapes, colours and ideas on how to wear. Think they are ideal for taking on hols (not expensive so you don't worry about losing them or leaving them in the hotel room!) and great for Christmas presents especially! Very quick to order and receive!

2 Stacey17

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've helped to host four bead shows over the last couple of years. I first found out about this organization in an Avon brochure and after researching and learning more really fell in love with not only what they do + how they help, but their thinking on how to best achieve that help with training, compassion + empowerment. Not only do they help women help themselves and their families as they try to raise themselves up from poverty, but they help those of us that to be a part of this special program find a way to help that cause. We get to become more educated and educated others about global issues and empower ourselves as well to help, be active and be a voice of change for others.

1 Jan_21

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I first Saw the Bead for Life store in Boulder, about 4 years ago. I was delighted at the beautiful work all the pretty jewelry was doing. I am pleased to say that it feels great supporting such a wonderful nonprofit.

1 Amy_68

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I sold their jewelry for them twice. They make it so easy to get a box of jewelry and provide you with the information to sell it and then to send the rest back. The stories of these women are powerful and beadforlife is making positive change over there to help end poverty.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first read about BeadforLife in Family Circle magazine seven years ago. I was so moved by the stories of these courageous and strong Ugandan women. Then I ordered some of their beads and was amazed at the quality and beauty of their handiwork. I have been selling the beads and shea butter products as well as sharing the story of BeadforLife's work ever since. They are truly changing thousands of lives. The

1 Mary139

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I used the Bead for Life video and jewelry for a Girl Scout Thinking Day event, we learned all about how Bead for Life helps women from Uganda build a business, a home, and a community. The girls, from Kindergarten to 12th grade, loved the video, rolled their own beads, and bought jewelry from a display party, and learned about local charities and programs. We made well over $500 for Bead For Life, the girls and leaders loved the jewelry and we all learned some valuable information. I plan on having another Bead for Life party soon, I get so many compliments on the jewelry I already have, and my friends keep asking when the next party is! This is much more fun than getting hostess benefits for a home party, my benefit is having fun with my friends and sending in that check to Bead for Life! What a wonderful program!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

BeadforLife is a wonderful organization, making an amazing difference in the world through a beautiful product. I have been fortunate enough to receive and wear a bracelet and necklace as well as the shea butter chapstick and I LOVE all three. I receive compliments on the jewelry every time I wear them, and the chapstick is my favorite. Their staff lives the mission and works very hard to create positive, mutually beneficial, relationships between the women in Uganda and in the United States. Keep up the great work!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Bead for Life is an amazing organization that makes a remarkable difference. Remarkable and Amazing because this organization offers hope and opportunity that lasts. It is sustainable and helps women change their future and the future of their children. Bead for Life is more than beads, it is an opportunity that supports women to create their future, start businesses that employ other women and make a difference in their own communities. It touches more than just the women in the bead program but creates radical change that is moving people out of extreme poverty. This organization is bright and bold and is transforming the meaning of charity. By giving to this organization we not only celebrate and support women and their families. We are able to empower them to create a life that lives in possibility, creativity, and making a difference. The possibility that they can get out of poverty, the creativity to become a leader and business owner, and the ability to make a difference in their community and the lives of others in their towns. This is a VERY empowering organization making a difference by helping women help themselves! I LOVE Bead for Life!!!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first learned of BeadforLife in 2007 from a short blurb in a national magazine. I ordered a necklace and bracelet and was impressed by the lovely items and decided to sponsor a bead party. Since then I've hosted many bead events, raised thousands of dollars, and become a BeadforLIfe Community Partner. This year I traveled to Uganda to meet some of the inspiring women whose stories I've been telling. BeadforLife's mission extends beyond beads to improve lives through health care, education, business training, and more. The shea nut program in northern Uganda extends opportunities to hundreds in that war-ravaged area and the shea butter product are outstanding. I'm proud to be a vounteer with this great non-profit.

dmhansardlsw

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I learned about BeadforLife through another non-profit organization, Dining For Women. I was so impressed with thier mission and the beautiful jewelry, that I decided to become a Community Partner Volunteer. Everywhere I go with the beads, people are always so impressed.

Previous Stories
2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a BeadforLife Community Partner Volunteer I have the privelige of speaking to groups and organizations about how BeadforLife is helping to elimiante extreme poverty in Uganda. I also have the joy of selling the beautiful jewelry made from recycled paper and shea products, all made by the women of BeadforLife, knowing that each woman is paid a fair wage. By being a volunteer, I know that jewelry and shea butter are turned into medicine, food, schoolfees and most of all hope. I am extremely proud to represent BeadforLife in Ohio, USA.

1 Jilaine A.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started with BeadforLife when I saw a story on the national news about the charity. Having just read the book "Half the Sky," I was quite inspired to take action to help boost women out of poverty. This charity fit the bill perfectly. I hosted several bead parties through BeadforLife, and found that this was a very rewarding way to give back. Because of this, I have now become a Community Partner with BeadforLife, where I do outreach to help people understand extreme poverty, and how they can help. I think the most rewarding part of volunteering is that this Charity really focuses on giving women a sustainable solution to extreme poverty, rather than just giving them a hand out. Their entrepreneurship program for women in Uganda is really having an impact not only on the individual lives of the women who go through it, but on entire villages and the overall Ugandan Economy.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

BeadforLife is a volunteer-driven organization that helps women by teaching them skills to help themselves. For many years, I was a single parent as many of our women are. But for the grace of God, that could have been me trying to raise my children and/or grandchildren, etc. These wonderful women take recycled paper to make beautiful beads that speak of the happiness in their hearts. Regardless of the hardships that they have had to endure, they rise above and forge on with smiles and song - and it shows in the magnificant colors of the beads. I am honored to be part of this organization and to help share the beads in the U.S.

3 LeaAnn C.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

After receiving BeadforLife bracelets as a Christmas gift from my sister, I started researching BeadforLife and found out more about the organization. I was very impressed with the program and began to organize an event at my church with the Youth Group and Women's Ministry. We taught the youth about extreme poverty and what the families in Uganda have had to endure from famines, poverty, AIDS, and many years of civil war in the country. We then sold the jewelry made by the ladies in Uganda to our church members. After this highly successful event, I was asked to become a Community Partner for BFL. I work as a volunteer to share the story of BeadforLife with others through local events, church groups, and home parties and sell the beautiful beaded jewelry made by women in Uganda. The women who are part of the program make the beads and jewelry from recycled paper earning fair trade wages while at the same time learning a new skill or trade or launching a new business that will keep them out of poverty when they are finished with the 18-month program. The program has been so successful with helping these families out of poverty that they are having to turn some away when beginning a new 18-month session due to funding and staffing restraints. They have just started a new ox/plow agricultural program teaching the ladies how to start and maintain crops to provide for their families and others. The success of BeadforLife is amazing and I thoroughly enjoy being part of such a wonderful and life-changing organization that is taking these ladies and their families out of poverty "one bead at a time."

1 Rae E.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a Community Partner for Beadforlife in Burbank, California. Since 2007 I have raised over 10,000.00 in bead sales for the Beadforlife community in Uganda. It's so empowering that one woman can make the difference for so many. I love to see the lives of the women in Uganda improve because of what we do here in our own communities.