This is a really challenging time....a lot of uncertainty, all 3 stores closed, oh how I miss seeing everyone's smiling faces! We have started two different projects to benefit Health Care Workers. I was a cardiology nurse in NYC and at Piedmont before starting Ann Peden Jewelry in 2000 so I totally appreciate how hard the job is even without a pandemic going on, I can't even imagine the stress health care workers are under! My three stores are closed....so sad....so quiet...as I was looking at all of the great things in the store, I was trying to think about how I could use my resources to encourage and help during this time. So that's how this started!
The first project is "I heART you" - we do art classes so I know every kid in three counties (okay, it's a little bit of an exaggeration but not much!) so we put a cabinet outside the store and we are collecting posters, artwork, and letters of encouragement and support from kids that are being sent to both Piedmont and St. Mary's. They are so heartfelt and awesome, a great project for the kids and I hope a boost of encouragement and love for the staff! The word that constantly comes to my mind when I open the cabinet in the morning is "heartfelt" because it is clear that the kids have put their heart into showing their love for our health care workers.
The second project, Adopt a Health Care Worker, came out of the inspiration for the favorite style of jewelry I make. Jewelry without meaning is just metal and glass and stones.... I love making jewelry with meaning - for example, I make a birds nest pendant that represents the mama bird taking care of her eggs (every mom "gets" it immediately, we are taking care of the little people in our nests), I make quote jewelry where I stamp inspirational and meaningful things on bar pendants, bracelets and charms. My favorite is the Starfish story (I make it into a keychain, a cuff bracelet and a bookmark) - what we do may not seem to make a difference when you look at the huge massive problems we are facing, but it does, it does. So our care packages aren't just full of random stuff, they are deliberately full of things that will inspire. I always put in a starfish item and a bar pendant that says "brave" then just keep adding more things (a gemstone heart, a pair of our funf!nd earrings, a stretch bracelet, a birds nest pendant) - just little things, but I'm hoping to share the art joy that will give that extra boost of morale. So someone sends me a name and an amount, and I double that amount of products that I hand pick, write a note and send it on! We have shipped packages all over and whenever I can, I deliver to an individual, a doctor's office, or the hospitals. We love our health care workers and want to recognize their work and risk and dedication.
So the silver lining in all of this craziness these days? The silver linings are the people - the kids making artwork to show appreciation and the health care workers who are so brave! I'm very glad to be a part of it in some small way through our two projects, I heART you and Adopt a Health Care Worker! -Ann