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Beads of Courage

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The goal for 2022 is 150 Boxes

Made to Date: 66

For more information contact Ken Tower at (520) 326-5839 or

What is the Beads of Courage Program:

Beads of Courage, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for children and teens coping with serious illness, their families, and the clinicians who care for them through their Arts-in-Medicine Programs. Beads of Courage believes in creating a context for caring transactions to transpire through their community and encouragement programs. Since 2005, Beads of Courage, Inc. has established collaborative partnerships in caring with hundreds of hospitals nationally and internationally, and worked with several community organizations to make healing happen through the use of beads as a historical art form. Watch their short video.

SAZWA and the Desert Woodcrafters have combined to contributed over 850 bead bowls/boxes to the Beads of Courage program since we joined the program in 2014.

Bead Bowls/Boxes Guidelines

Beads of Courage members may receive thousands of beads. It is desirable for your boxes to hold them all. As a result, turned or rectangular lidded boxes need to be large. Larger is better! Recommended interior dimensions for turned boxes are: 6'' diameter (5'' min.), 5'' height (4'' min.).

Recommended interior dimensions for flatwork boxes are 4”x6"x4" Box bases should be wide enough so the box is stable and does not tip over easily. Lids for Beads of Courage boxes should be easy for small or ill children to remove or lift. Any finials should be easy for a small child to grasp and not too elaborate so they don't break. Avoid excessively elaborate designs that may easily break or be damaged; remember, hospital rooms have limited storage space.

Finishing of boxes is extremely important! Beads of Courage members who receive these boxes are susceptible to germs/ infections/mold. Bowls that have not been properly sealed can harbor mold. Please take the time to ensure you are using a safe finishing process that does not contain toxic materials. Also do not use finishes like linseed oil that take a long time to outgas. All kinds of wood are beautiful! Please refrain from painting Beads of Courage boxes. Instead, highlight the beauty of the wood with clear varnish, a stain, and/or burning.

For more information contact Ken Tower at 520-349-0425 or