March 8, 2009
Someone posted this in the comments:
For those of us not familiar with, but intrigued by... what exactly is a lanyard used for? (How much do you want for them? Just curious on the background...)
Lanyards are long necklaces with rings or clips on the end to hang ID badges on. School teachers, nuclear scientists, and hospital personnel are types of folks that sometimes wear lanyards as part of their jobs. Our friends the Weberlings introduced us to the concept of making them with jewelry wire and glass beads last fall. We started out just thinking of Erin's teachers and had intended to give them as Christmas gifts. Unfortunately, each one took longer than we thought, so we had to fall back on a different plan of teacher gifts. Erin finished making them over Christmas and thought she would give them to the teachers anyway. She paired that idea with idea that they might want to make a donation to the Children's Neuroblastoma Cancer Foundation in exchange for having a cool and beautiful lanyard. Since then, Erin's lanyards have become such a big hit that she sometimes needs help from friends to collaborate with her. Here are some samples:
She has taken orders from people and is filling them in the order they came in. Some people have ordered specific color combinations or lengths; others are leaving those choices to her. When your order is ready, we either give it or send it to you (if you asked for something more specific), or we contact you and let you pick from the accumulated inventory (if you didn't express a particular preference). We have also branched out a little for people who don't have to wear ID badges. We have made some eyeglasses chains (for people like me who need to take their glasses on and off all day and risk them escaping if they are not chained around my neck) and have taken some special orders for other type of jewelry.
We don't set a price on any of the items we make. Erin has given them away for nothing and has accept donations as large as $250. Anything she gets, we send to Lunch for Life and the Children's Neuroblastoma Cancer Foundation.
There's a more important story embedded here. Erin's beaded lanyards help people by providing harnasses for their IDs. They also help people by generating funds for pediatric cancer research. Beyond these instrumental outcomes, there are some other benefits. Beading gives Erin something to do when she doesn't feel like doing much. It gives her friends something to do with her when she can't run around and play like they can. It brings our friends together and helps us make new friends. We share time, space, and conversation as we work. Wearing a lanyard by Erin might prompt someone to notice and gives the wearer a chance to spread the word. I like to think of the whole cycle (where a large number of people end up feeling better) as process theology.
Take these two photos. Erin had Sandy, Tiffany, and Kaleigh over on Saturday afternoon to do a little beading. Erin had looked terrible all day. [We think she has a combination of stomach virus--diarrhea, nausea, headache, and fatigue--and sinus infection--lots of snot, sore throat, difficulty swallowing, and productive cough. Although we never know whether there might be more insidious explanations.] Beading with friends perked her up.