Beads For Hope Benefit Project Grace and Children of the Dump
The Beads of Hope Project teaches students at the Betania Trade School to make hand crafted beads by hand-rolling recycled wallpaper. Through this process they craft beautiful artisan bracelets, necklaces, earrings and even rosary beads. Each student is paid for the crafts that they make, which is empowering- since they can earn double the salary of a school teacher in Nicaragua. 
Around the world there are millions of children living on garbage dumps, looking for scraps of food and sellable items buried among the disease-infested rubble. Children have to compete for survival with flies, dogs, scavenging birds, and destitute adults. After searching through the dump, these children return to make-shift lean-tos or huts without heat, electricity, running water, or sanitation facilities. There is no employment.  Suicide, crime, disease, fear, and prostitution feed the despair by nourishing it with anger and a sense of total hopelessness.
Impoverished people living in Chinandega, Nicaragua, however, are being trained at the school to engage in eco-friendly crafting. These individuals are upcycling wallpaper scraps into fashionable beads. These beads are coated with several layers of epoxy resin and are beaded into gorgeous ethnic bracelets, necklaces, and earrings. The handmade beads are coupled with silver and gold plated spacers, beautiful crystals, or natural stones, like Tiger Eye.
Scarborough Rotary President Phil Giordano learned of  their story at a Rotary district training seminar for new club presidents in March. He was deeply moved and applied for a donation from Key Bank to buy 100 of the bracelets, which the club has been reselling for a suggested donation of $10.00 each. The bracelets were available at the elections held at the high school November 3rd. Members of the Scarborough High School Interact Club came in during study halls and after school to help collect donations and share the story of these children.
"Rotary is an awesome organization" proclaimed Sara Fitzpatrick, a senior at Scarborough High and this year's Interact Club president, as she detailed a few of their other service projects to a voter who dropped by her table. (Interact is a part of Rotary.) 
The students raised five hundred dollars which will go to Project Grace to help buy Thanksgiving turkeys and food for Scarborough families in need. "This project is small for us but offers great synergies" President Giordano said. "Peace and Conflict Resolution, Disease Prevention and Treatment, Water and Sanitation, Maternal and Child Healthcare, Basic Education and Literacy and Economic and Community Development are the top focus areas for The Rotary Foundation and this hits so many of them all at once. It's a small way Scarborough, Maine helps make a difference thousands of miles away for kids that will never know us, plus it helps those in need right here at home. Rotary's motto is 'Service Above Self', and thi project is a living example of the impact of our Rotary values."
Who are the Children of the Dumps? Click here for their story