Shredded guns from the streets of Newark are being turned into symbols of hope and solidarity by a Connecticut company called Jewelry for a Cause.
Jewelry for a Cause started by making inexpensive jewelry for schools and groups. The organizations would buy jewelry and re-sell as fundraising tools.
"We have worked with over 300 schools across the country," said Jessica Mindich of Jewelry for a Cause. "And we have a couple of retail lines that are sold in stores across the United States."
A portion of the profits from retail sales go to organizations such as Alzheimer's Foundation and the American Red Cross.
"It's been wonderful because people feel so good making these purchases," said Mindich. "It's truly jewelry that sparkles with good intentions."
Recently, the company began their caliber collection, which makes bracelets from shredded guns and shell casings taken from the streets of Newark to symbolize the need to get guns and gun violence off streets.
"Where there is a shell casing there was once a bullet," Mindich said.
Orders are coming in from all over the world from people committed to the cause and others who have been the victims of the violence. However, in the thousands of emails, there was never a negative one, Mindich said
"They are also really proud to wear this as a symbol of support and comfort," she said.
The bracelets come packaged in what look like evidence bags to drive home the message and carry the serial numbers from confiscated guns.
"It's not just another piece of jewelry," Mindich said. "It's a symbol. It's a message."
According to Mindich, 20 percent of the proceeds from the caliber collection goes back to the Newark Police Department to fund gun buyback programs. After six weeks of sales, Jewelry for a Cause has donated more than $20,000 to the Newark Police Department, she added.
"I think that they feel they are wearing a symbol that change can happen," Mindich said. "And it's not the only answer. It's just something that I can do."
To learn more about Jewelry for a Cause, click the following link.
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635 W. 7th Street