The Front Porch Beaders are a diverse group of women who live on or near Amelia Island, FL. We started getting together to make beaded jewelry on a front porch in 2018.
Our plan was to sell our jewelry and see if we could raise $1000 for a local charity. We chose Micah's Place, which helps survivors of domestic violence.
We all had so much fun working with beads, learning new skills, and making many new friends along the way, that we have been doing this ever since! (Click HERE to read an article by Dickie Anderson about the "Beader Leader" published in Amelia Islander magazine.)
Every time we raise another $1000 (or more these days!) we donate it to a local charity picked by the folks on the porch when it's time to make a decision.
So far, we have donated to these organizations, but we always welcome suggestions for future donations. The parameters for picking a charity are:
mission is broad and inclusive
most of the donation goes to the cause
And most of all...we like to donate to charities where our small gift will make a difference.
Some of Our Latest Donations
Gracie's Kitchen - $2500
How can we not keep donating to this wonderful cause?!
In September, Gracie’s Kitchen provided meals for 4135 people and 285 pets. The Kitchen is open four nights a week (Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays), and between 250 and 300 people come to pick up a dinner every night.
And there is even a Blessing Box of food outside for the days when the Kitchen isn't open!
Pictured: Fran Peters on the left and Lee Schilling and Rachel Bembenek on the right.
Amelia Island Singers - $500
We were happy to provide a little assistance to this incredile choral group, which enriches our island life!
Pictured: Toni Myers (Director) center, flanked by Sophie and Jackson Groth (two of our youngest Front Porch Beaders) at a recent choir practice.
The Amelia Island Singers choir members are seated behind them, some expressing their enthusiasm with a thumbs-up!
Rain Lily Montessori School - $1000
Front Porch Beads volunteers met with Kati McClurg and Tania Castro at the site of their new Rain Lily Montessori School on Bailey Road to see the space and hear about their plans. Kati and Tania hope that the work on the building will be completed sometime in October. In the first year, they look forward to welcoming up to 30 children (ages 3-6) from families of diverse income levels and ethnicities.
The Front Porch Beads donation of $1000 will be used as needed for an Emergency Tuition Support Fund and to purchase materials for the Outdoor Nature Explore Classroom.
Pictured left to right: Anne Fowler, Frances Peters, Tania Castro, Kati McClurg, Christine and Connor Hiebel
Front Porch Beads volunteers (from left, Lucy Bryan, Sonya Shortkroff, Connie Rodante, Fran Peters, Nancy Hemperly, and Kathy Mason) present a check for $2500 to Robin Lentz, Executive Director, Take Stock In Children, Nassau, at the Fernandina Beach Library. (Fran’s husband, Dan Groth is standing at the back because he matched the donation with a second check for $2500!)
Take Stock In Children - $2500
This summer, Fernandina Beach Library hosted two beading events led by Front Porch Beads, one for teens and one for adults.
When they realized how many people had signed up for the sessions, the Front Porch Beads volunteers came out in force to help. And with so many gathered in one place, it was a great opportunity to present a check for the latest Front Porch Beads donation - $2500 to Take Stock In Children.
Check out our events page and the one on the library’s website for information about more beading events going forward.
Habitat For Humanity - $2500
In March, Front Porch Beaders visited Habitat for Humanity's latest project in Fernandina Beach to present a donation check of $2500.
The volunteers donned hard hats for a tour of the site.
Pictured from left to right, Sharon Mooney-Hughes, Karen Thompson, Karen Guest (Volunteer Coordinator, Habitat for Humanity Nassau), Frances Peters, and Kathleen Falk. (Building project volunteers are on the ladder and far right.)
One of our favorite donations
$3000 for Meals On Wheels, split between people and pets
(It was our favorite because we got to enjoy all the dogs that came along for the photo too!)
We decided to split the donation after hearing from the volunteers at Gracie's Kitchen that hungry people--if they don't have any pet food--will share a much-needed dinner with their furry friends.
So it just made sense to offer our donation to both charities!
Pictured:, Front Porch Beaders together with volunteers from Meals On Wheels For Pets plus, left to right, Buster (Westie), Gracie (Cairn Terrier), Lucy (Beagle), and Luna (Pyrenean Mountain Dog mix).