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2021 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Beads Of Courage Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Health, Health Support, Patient & Family Support

Mission: Beads of Courage provides innovative arts-in-medicine programs that improve the quality of life of children coping with cancer and other serious illnesses.

Target demographics: children coping with serious illness through innovative arts-in-medicine programs

Direct beneficiaries per year: 60,000 children

Geographic areas served: 300 children's hospitals around the world

Programs: The flagship Beads of Courage Program: children coping with serious illness tell their stories of courage using colorful beads as meaningful symbols that commemorate milestones they have achieved along their unique treatment path.

Community Stories

48 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Beads of Courage has truly given us a gift. Our daughter was diagnosed with cancer at 10 months old. While it has been a blessing she does not remember treatment, it also means she does not remember how incredibly brave she was. Her beads are now a tangible way for her to see how amazing she is and a way for her to share her own journey with others. As her parents, each bead is a reason to celebrate all that our family has been through. Thank you beads of courage!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our daughter Lexi was born with a congenital heart defect called hypoplastic left heart syndrome with a double outlet right ventricle. She turns 10 this year! She has faced 3 open heart surgeries and numerous heart catheterizations- there were times when we didn’t know if she would make it through the day- let alone be a rambunctious ten year old! I often wondered how I would help her understand her journey, since it literally started the moment she was born- Then we found Beads of Courage (distance program) - and now she has something beautiful she can hold in her hand to represent her continuing journey- something more than her scars... She loves them, loves me to tell her about them and she has even used them to tell others about all she has gone through- I am forever grateful.

1 Amy Pettengill F.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter has a blood disorder and has gotten beads for years. It's a beautiful way to represent her story. Shes so very proud of her beads and has helped her talk about all she's been through.

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beadsofcourage 08/27/2021

Thank you so much! #beadstrong

1 Heidi F.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

When we first started the bead program in October of 2018, I didn't at first realize the impact it would have on my heart. My daughter Zion has Trisomy 18, the beads help tell her medical story in such a beautiful way! I am so grateful for the program.

1 Laura Shawn A.

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a #Beadmom, every time I add Xzavier's beads to his existing string, I’m always in awe of his Strength, each tiny bead representing a huge act of courage on his behalf. In the first 3 years of his life, he’s accumulated so many beads.
I realize this representation is only the tip of the iceberg for his lifelong battle with CLD, CP, SPD, Autism, ADHD..... But I am thankful for Beads of Courage for this beautiful reminder of the battles, and difficult/ good days.
Did you know that Beads of Courage gives our fighters a different bead for everything they go though during their treatment? Xzavier has received beads for NICU, MRIs, CTs, clinic visits, pokes, all different kinds of therapies, ER, Hospital stays, pills/meds, anesthesia, surgery, special accomplishments...the list goes on and on.
These beads mean so much to us. They represent all that he has overcome. All of the times that’s he’s been brave! We are all in this together and will continue to celebrate our wins and hold each other tight. We are so proud of him. He is truly our little Superhero ❤️

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beadsofcourage 08/27/2021

Thank you so much! #beadstrong

KerriBeth Sitman T.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is Jules and I have half of a heart... Beads of Courage tells my story through art and I wear my beads proudly.

Clara L.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is Clara and I am 15. I am have been living with multiple chronic illnesses since I was 7 years old. These include type 1 diabetes, chiari malformation, CRPS, scoliosis and many more. They have affected my life immensely and made me feel so alone. When I found beads of courage it made my medical journey feel like it had purpose. I didn’t feel so alone anymore. Each and every bead I hang on my strand is a sign of courage and it helps show me how far I have come. The team at beads of courage has been so welcoming and supportive I love being a part of the bead family!

Client Served

Rating: 5

my beads are the perfect way to explain/tell my story to others. i hang them on my iv pole at home so that I can look at them at night and be reminded of my strength and what I've overcome

1 jocy.perez2

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter was born in Wichita, KS May 3, 2017. We got flown down to Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, MO by May 5th and Mother’s Day was right around the corner and I was in the NICU alone with only my newborn and my support system was over 3hours away. Beads of courage were so very sweet and thoughtful and have every mother in the NICU at the time, Pandora bracelets with a NICU bead to help support us, it dad make my day special and I appreciated it so much. Not much later, I applied to be a part of beads of courage and we absolutely love it! There’s so much pride in the beads my daughter receives for all her braveness and hard work throughout the years and we cannot wait to keep building out bead collection and tell her story. I know it’s something she can look back at as an adult and say “Man, look at everything I did! Everything I’ve overcome.” It’s definitely something that keeps you going.

1 Aisha Christa A.

Client Served

Rating: 5

“Every bead holds a piece of our story together. As the necklace grows in length, so does our strength.” Beads of Courage is an organization that does beautiful work for medically dependent children such as my son through charity, art, and volunteerism. My son has been a part of their Beads in the Mail program for several years now, and he has enjoyed being part of the organization as a recipient.

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beadsofcourage 08/27/2021

Thank you so much! Stay #beadstrong

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I heard about this great organization about 11 years ago, and decided that I needed to learn to make beads so I could help. I have never lost my admiration for the organization, or my drive to help the members by making beads that help them to smile through some hard times, or celebrate some big milestones. This truly is a wonderful organization that gives strength, courage, hope and pride to children that show their courage every day as they face their illnesses.

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beadsofcourage 05/30/2021

Thank you so much, Eileen! We are so grateful for your support.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

AJ was born at 25 weeks and 3 days at under 2 lbs… AJ has been a fighter since day 1… AJ had NEC 3 times and 9 surgeries… Beads of Courage was a good way to show the world what AJ went through and the resilience he showed for the 211 days in the NICU… The Beads of Courage program will be in every yearly picture of our miracle… 1500+ beads… Thank you Beads of Courage for your support…

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beadsofcourage 08/27/2021

Thank you so much! #beadstrong

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Great group of people that work tirelessly to uplift those they support. Truly an amazing mission to bring joy to everyone they touch. Proud to have supported them and will continue to do so.

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beadsofcourage 05/30/2021

We are so grateful for your support. Thank you!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Just got started with beads of courage for my son today after his chemo treatment. In just a month he has already had more than 20 procedures done and when we got all these beads it was shocking how much he has accomplished in a short amount of time. I hope when he's older he will see the long beads and understand just how brave he really is. Thank you beads of courage, this program is awesome.

Joy_31

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Beads of courage has helped my daughter face so many challenges. From countless pokes, overnights in the hospital, and heart surgery, recieving a bead for each makes it a little easier to bear. She can now display her story through art!

Client Served

Rating: 5

We are a family of 7 with 4 medically complex kids and Beads of Courage has been so awesome to help tell their stories. Every beads tells them they were strong through lab work, test, surgeries and much more. We love Beads of Courage. Thanks guys.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a child life specialist, part of my work is to share the Beads of Courage program with our pediatric patients and their families. It is such a pleasure to have this unique way to celebrate the medical milestones in each child’s life. Beads of Courage helps our patients find beauty and joy in their day.

sabc7

Client Served

Rating: 5

Beads of Courage came along side of our entire family when my daughter was fighting cancer. There were many days that the promise of a bead earned got us through treatment. My daughters collection of 2000-ish beads tell her story of courage and surviving cancer. And it still doesn't end; each year at her Survivor's Clinic appointment, she makes sure to collect her bead to mark another year of survivorship. These beads are so much more than little pieces of glass! Each one is a reminder to the patient, their family, and their friends of what they have overcome. They give courage to face the next thing. And when treatment is in the rearview mirror for a survivor, they serve as a reminder of what is in the past and the ability to overcome.

Kayla M.7

Client Served

Rating: 5

Beads of Courage is a wonderful program. My daughter was diagnosed with CHD after birth. When we were at the hospital we were told about Beads of Courage. I love that the beads we have show what our daughter has conquered. Someday, when she is old enough to understand, I will have the honor to explain all of her accomplishments.

Sydney N.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma cancer in 2009 at the age of five. My family went through a hard time, but I am so thankful for beads of courage. As a five year old, beads of courage made me happy and gave me hope. They now tell my story of cancer and what I went through. I am proud to be a member of beads of courage.

Aubree M.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son Jackson has been receiving his Beads of Courage for a while now. Every bead means something to him and he is able to follow his own journey of courage. He’s been sick since birth and his journey is far from over, but each bead supports him and shows his strength. I am so thankful for this organization and how much they support kids through these hard journeys. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our son just passed away and he battled ALL for 5 years. We were very happy to collect his beads and now we will treasure them. We will forever be grateful for this programs and all the specialty beads that he earned. They truly showed his journey.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Bead of Courage is amazing! It’s such a cool way to put my daughters journey into a form she can understand now that she’s older. She has over 1,200 beads! That’s quite a story!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Beads of Courage is a wonderful organization that helps put a visual to our sons story.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughters beads have been an inspiration to me since she has passed. They have given me courage, just as she had when she earned them.

1 Lynn H.3

Donor

Rating: 5

I am a retired RN, wife, Mom & Grandma to 4 strong & healthy kiddos and I also make lampwork beads. While doing some consulting in Tucson, I learned of a program called Beads of Courage. I was immediately drawn to Art & Medicine uniting to bring a smile, mark a milestone or honor the memory of a child who bravely journeys the path of life threatening illness and the families and friends that support them. I have over the past many years donated Lampwork beads I have created to the program. I still smile at the years I was fortunate enough to have my beads chosen to be carried by mushers in the Iditarod.....the goal was to give a dog sled travelled bead to a child and to the musher. There have been many adventures for the beads we artists create then donate and the journey to becoming a treasure. Beads of Courage is gracious, professional and beautifully run. Courtesy is a cornerstone for them...I always receive a hand written thank you for my donations....a description of how it will be used and a comment or two on the designs. I am proud to say I, in a very small way, support this organization with art and contributions. Dedication to children....there is no finer commitment.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our daughter was born with an extremely rare genetic disorder, and while she was in the NICU, the wonderful nurse brought in a card and a few beads in a beautiful fabric bag. They explained about the Beads of Courage program (still relatively new to our Children’s Hospital) and while those first days were utterly overwhelming, the beads gave us a little bit of much needed comfort and distraction.

Today my little girl is 6 months old, and she has collected over 300 beads thus far (and counting). They are a beautiful part of her special story, and we are so so glad to be a part of this program.

We also greatly enjoyed following BoC on social media, and learning about the stories of other brave kids who are part of the beads program. BoC are wonderful at engaging with participants.

I treasure our Beads of Courage and I know when my daughter is old enough they will be the perfect way for her to understand and share her story.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a recipient of beads of courage and they have changed my life. They helped me stay strong and remind me of my strength, courage, and remind me that I’m not alone. Beads of courage is a truly amazing non profit that is so valuable for children and teens coping with serious illnesses and giving them a way to tell their story.

Donor

Rating: 5

I'm, thankfully, not on the receiving end of this wonderful bead program . I am, however, a donator of beads and bead bags. I read the stories and see the posts from very brave kids sporting a look of hope and joy as they pick out a special bead to tell the story of their illness journey. Sounds a bit odd...telling a story of pain and discomfort...but this gives them an open door to discuss all aspects of their treatments. The good, the bad, and the ugly. But no so fast! They also tell of the love and care that they receive from the medical team and even from perfect strangers. Its healing...its therapeutic...its a lovely distraction from their difficulties. This program represents an act of kindness, an act of love. Any program that puts a smile on a sick child and brings a ray of hope into their lives has my vote!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our daughter, Grace was born with a rare type of germ cell tumor and receives beads through her oncology clinic. Beads of Courage provides a positive way for her to tell her story and lets her feel the true weight and significance of what she has been through. Knowing that she will earn beads helps her get through challenging tests and procedures, and bead deliveries are a bright spot during hospital stays.

The organization also provides a sense of community for members and their parents though social media and hospital activities. Many of the friends Grace has met during our stays at Ronald McDonald House are members.

Grace says that her beads are made of courage!

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beadsofcourage 05/30/2021

Thank you so much, Sara! We are so proud of #beadstrong Grace!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Incredible organization that has allowed our daughter to understand everything she went through in a very tangible way.

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beadsofcourage 05/30/2021

Thank you so much! We are honored to be part of your family's journey.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Beads of Courage is an amazing organization and has helped me, and so many others with serious illnesses, to have a way to visualize our journeys and share them with others! Many times, my beads have been a way for me to look back on my journey and realize that, if I made it through all of that, I can tackle whatever is coming next.

1 Jan P.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Beads of Courage mission is to provide critically ill children with beads that tells their medical journey. As an arts in medicine program within over 280 hospitals in the U S and in 7 foreign countries, thousands of children have strings of beautiful beads to help them understand and share what is happening to them. As a volunteer in the International headquarters in Tucson, I help with the packaging of beads to be sent to the hospital programs. I am also blessed to be able to send beads in the mail to children who are no longer hospitalized. It is the best and most rewarding volunteer work that I do.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

This program provides such a lovely way to record and be able to tell my child’s story of his medical journey.

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beadsofcourage 10/28/2018

Thank you so much!

1 AngelofNightmares L.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Beads of courage has allowed me to share my challenges and victories I’ve dealt with and share my journey with multiple rare chronic illnesses.

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beadsofcourage 10/28/2018

Thank you so much. Stay #beadstrong!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

What a wonderful nonprofit! My son, a cardiac patient, loves to collect his beads. It’s a wonderful way for him to be able to keep track of his medical journey and it’s helped me as his mom by having something tangible to point to in order to show what we have been through.

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beadsofcourage 10/28/2018

Thank you for sharing your story!

1

Client Served

Rating: 4

Our son is battling leukemia and Beads of Courage regularly encourages him to tangibly acknowledge what he's accomplished so far. He looks forward to pulling them out and adding in what ones he's earned during that appointment. We talk about all of the special beads he's earned and the through procedures and extra courageous days. They are a wonderful non-profit and we are so blessed by Beads of Courage.

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beadsofcourage 10/28/2018

Thank you! We're honored by your review.

1 Lulabugkacky

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son loves his beads of courage! The older he gets the more he understands the meaning. He gets a bead for every stick, xray, echo, overnight stay, and much more. His journey through the life as a CHD Warrior is documented one bead at a time. Thank you!

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beadsofcourage 10/28/2018

Thank you so much!

1 Jacquelyn Massott C.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My daughter collected the beads for her

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beadsofcourage 10/28/2018

Thank you!

2

Donor

Rating: 5

Beads of Courage provides emotional support to children with serious diseases like cancer. My brother died of cancer and while he was receiving treatment, it bother him to see small children receving the same treatment he was getting at 70 years of age. I am a woodturner and to honor my brother I support the mission of Beads of Courage by turning and donating boxes as a place for kids to keep their beads.

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beadsofcourage 10/28/2018

We're honored by your support!

1 Sonya S.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our son Shaun got his first beads upon his diagnosis of brain cancer in July 2014. He has collected beads daily fighting this beast. On the way, he has met his hero who carried a bead to space camp and has fueled his love for space.

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beadsofcourage 10/28/2018

Thank you for sharing your story!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love working with Beads of Courage. We volunteer to get carry bead kits out to individuals to tell their stories.

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beadsofcourage 10/28/2018

Thank you for volunteering with us!

1 Deborah S.3

Donor

Rating: 5

I am a bead artist who donates to Beads of Courage. I love knowing that the children can tell their amazing stories using a tangible method.

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beadsofcourage 10/24/2018

We are so grateful for your support!

1 Donna Dean Diana D.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love going and giving a hand, knowing I am helping children and their families on their journey with a life altering diagnosis. The staff and fellow volunteers are wonderful. I also love doing #CarryABead where I take a pair of beads with me to an activity and return one with a small card to go to a child who needs extra encouragement.

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beadsofcourage 10/24/2018

Thank you so much!!

1 Bonnie M.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter is a PROUD Beads of Courage Member! Living with a complex Congenital Heart Defect, her Beads are strung currently on 11 necklaces giving her ownership of her journey! We are so grateful for this amazing program! Looking at all the beads tells the amazing, courageous journey my little girl has faced thus far. Plus, it’s amazing to see her necklaces grow over the years!

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beadsofcourage 10/23/2018

We're proud of YOU, too!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Beads of Courage is an amazing organization. Not only are they extremely helpful, professional, and fast on the replies; they give kids who have been through so much medically something to smile about.

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beadsofcourage 10/23/2018

Thank you so much. We are honored by your support!

1 April Cleveland

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Love volunteering for Beads of Courage. We take our clients with disabilities to package beads. We love to take part in fundraising for glass bead makers. We enjoy getting Carry a Beads for the kids in the program. But our all time favorite is making polymer clay beads. Plus my daughter enjoys making things to sell to raise money to sponsor a kid to receive beads. Art is an amazing way to heal in every aspect.

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beadsofcourage 10/23/2018

Thank you! We are so grateful for your support!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son David was diagnosed with cancer at 3 years old. Throughout his year long treatment, he enjoyed getting his Beads of Courage to recognize each milestone in the journey. He was young enough that he will not remember most of the treatment process, but he can look back at the beads and tell about what he has overcome. He's a special boy and those beads are very special to him. He is now 3 years off treatment and doing well!

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beadsofcourage 10/23/2018

We are so glad to hear that David is doing well. Stay #beadstrong!