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Challenges, problems, and triumphs -- from a manufacturer's perspective.

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Bottles of Hope

A polymer clay grassroots movement.

by Staff Report (December 3, 2007)

Bottles of Hope was founded by polymer clay artist and cancer survivor Diane Gregoire in 1999. After decorating bottles used in her own chemotherapy, Diane returned them to hospital nurses, who in turn gave them to other patients. These patients were so inspired by her messages of hope that a grassroots movement was begun. They are recycled bottles used in chemotherapy (or similar sizes) that are decorated with polymer clay, which is baked in the oven for hardening/curing. Each bottle carries a message of hope either in its design or placed inside.

It is through the efforts of the National Polymer Guild, its local guilds, and private individuals that this project continues to thrive as thousands of men, women, and children make bottles each year and deliver them to people living with cancer and their families.

Bottles of Hope are made for local fund-raisers or in workshops to raise awareness and funds for cancer prevention, research, and treatment conducted by area hospitals and charities devoted to helping those living with cancer. Many of these workshops take place in hospitals so that cancer patients can create their own bottles and experience the therapeutic value of playing with clay as a full range of self-expression.

For more info, visit www.bottlesofhope.org to read a brief memoir by Diane Gregoire. Google "bottles of hope" to read about the many workshops and designer challenges going on today. Or visit www.amaco.com/amaco-bottlesofhopemain.html.

Helping the cause.

AMACO (American Art Clay Co.) has sponsored two design competitions, "Bottles of Hope Designer Challenges," with accompanying online auctions for craft designers and award receptions at the Craft & Hobby Assn. shows. Eighty polymer clay designers created 170 bottles for the two designer challenges. AMACO's Event Coordinator Lisa Pavelka, a noted polymer clay artist and author, spearheaded the events.

Funds raised in 2007 have benefitted American Cancer Society, Gilda's Club Chicago, Edward Hospital Foundation/Cancer Center Program (Naperville, IL), City of Hope, Peter McCallum Cancer Centre (East Melbourne, Australia), and Hasbro Children's Hospital (Providence, RI).

The bottles for the winter challenge were distributed to Camp Rainbow, Babler State Park, MO where clay author and teacher Linda Peterson conducted a workshop for teen campers living with cancer. Bottles made for the summer challenge were given to Gilda's Club Chicago. www.gildasclubchicago.org/home.jsp.

(Note: Is your company helping a charitable cause and/or the environment? Tell CLN and we'll tell our readers. Email mike@clnonline.com. To read previous reports of industry companies helping worthy causes, click on the titles in the right-hand column.)

xxx

 

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