Bravery Bead Bowls - Home
While attending the 25th Anniversary Symposium of the American Association of Woodturners (AAW) in St Pauls, Minnesota, in 2011, an inkling of an idea was spawned. A few years past until the idea became a reality. In late 2016, the Grey-Bruce Woodturners Guild launched its Bravery Bead Bowls initiative.
Many years prior, the Women's Auxiliary Volunteers started the Bravery Beads program at Toronto SickKids Hospital. Kids undergoing treatment at SickKids receive colourful beads, each bead representing a specific procedure which they experience, from an overnight stay in hospital to a complex blood transfusion. The kids string the beads together into long beautiful necklaces, a form of recording their personal journey through their treatment. Depending on the complexity of their treatment, over time, patients can collect hundreds of beads.
The idea of the Bravery Bead Bowls program was to create beautiful woodturned containers for their Bravery Bead collections, and, to make this a win-win initiative for the makers of the Bravery Bead Bowls as well as the recipients. Most of the guild members had no experience with segmented woodturning, so the decision was made to use that technique in the creation of the Bravery Bead Bowls. This provided a valuable learning exercise for the guild members, in addition to producing the initial batch of Bravery Bead Bowls, which were delivered to Toronto SickKids Hospital in June of 2017.
Grey-Bruce Woodturners Guild was limited in its capacity to produce Bravery Bead Bowls so the Bravery Bead Bowl initiative was presented to other woodturning guilds in Ontario, including demonstrations of making Bravery Bead Bowls. As a result, other guilds have launched their own Bravery Bead Bowls initiative. The current list of participating woodturning guilds follows.
- Grey-Bruce Woodturners Guild (GBWG), Kincardine
- Kawartha Woodturners Guild (KaWG), Peterborough
- Simcoe Woodturners Guild (SWG), Barrie
- Waterloo-Wellington Woodturners Guild (WWWG), Waterloo
- Woodturners Guild of Ontario (WGO), Pickering
The Bravery Bead Bowls program has provided a valuable community outreach project within the guild which fosters a real kinship among the participating members. Guild members have a real sense of gratification knowing their hard work will help bring some joy to a young child, and their family, during a difficult time in their life.
Each year since the inception of the Bravery Bead Bowl initiative, members of the Grey-Bruce Woodturners Guild have continued to provide their expertise and time to make more Bravery Bead Bowls which are then donated to the Women's Auxiliary Volunteers Bravery Bead program at Toronto SickKids Hospital.
In January of 2022, the Women's Auxiliary Volunteers at Toronto SickKids Hospital presented a special Certicate of Appreciation to the Grey-Bruce Woodturners Guild in recognition of the continued support of the Bravery Bead program through their generous donations of Bravery Bead Bowls.