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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Making the World's Longest Necklace. How crazy is that?

As if we didn't have already enough world record attempts floating around the atmosphere, cluttering people's sense of aesthetics.

Well, the Neverending Necklace wasn't really designed to dilute the pool of 5-minute-fame-holders. Notoriety is not what I was after when I incepted the idea of raising money and awareness for a local Veteran's charity.

It all started out with a very well written and researched article in our local paper, the Palm Beach Post. It talked about Chris Noel and her wonderful charity that made it its mission to help Veterans who are disabled and/or homeless.

It left an impact on me, as my memories brought me back to my own teenage years, back in time and far away.

I grew up in a part of Germany that had US troops stationed all around us. The American soldiers and their families were a part of my upbringing, and when I was in High School, some classmates and I had befriended a few GIs.

The emotional recollections about their time in Vietnam were detached to a sheltered German teenage girl, but we all felt the dark clouds that shrouded these men's pain in hazy attempts to camouflage their experience.

Not to forget that Germany's own war-torn past was something our parents and grandparents had lived through.

War was not pretty. Not heroic. And very undesirable to say the least.

In other words: I grew up hating a monster that I had never encountered, but that was described to me vividly by those who I loved and trusted.

War would forever become a permanent resident on my shit list.

So - a cause helping Veterans was personal. I decided I would help.

That was almost 13 years ago and I have learned a lot.

For one: don't attempt to "help" without a concise plan. And, above all, try to be financially stable when you decide to implement a novel fund raising idea.

But, the Neverending Necklace was born, and with it the commitment to make it a messenger of peace. And love. Love & Peace.

At the time I owned a nature store selling rocks, fossils, birding supplies, tea, incense, books, gifts, gem stones and beads.

The idea was simple:
choose beads and dedicate them to people you love. Each dedication was $1.00 and that money went to the Veteran's Charity.

I could raise a little money and the new project was quite popular in my store. However my dreamy bubble burst when I had to close shop for the lack of traffic. Rent was high and sales low, and somehow this equation just didn't work.

The necklace, at the time about seven feet long, went into hibernation...

Read more in tomorrow's blog

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