Strings for Hope is a nonprofit organization that sells handmade bracelets made out of guitar strings to help the women it employs, food banks, educational services and health clinics.
Laura Wilson, the founder of Strings for Hope, started making bracelets out of recycled guitar strings from her husband’s custom guitar shop.
Her original mission was to help her neighbors in need, but her mission eventually grew. Wilson started partnering with The Next Door, a transitional home for formerly incarcerated women who are re-entering community life.
As the organization grew, Wilson employed women from transitional programs like The Next Door to help make the bracelets.
Strings for Hope teaches these women how to make the recycled jewelry, learn trade skills, develop their business sense and cultivate a culture of trust and respect.
Not only are they helping Wilson a great deal, but they are also able to help themselves earn the extra money they need to help them transition back into society.
“The cool thing is they’re learning business skills and that they can make something beautiful,” said senior DeZwaan-Lemke, who is the product manager for Strings of Hope Enactus.
Belmont Enactus got involved with Strings for Hope in the fall of 2013.
Enactus provides the nonprofit with legal, sales and marketing advice, and it helped create new ideas and partnerships with artists. With the help of the group, Strings for Hope was able to get special donations from artists like Florida Georgia Line and Steven Curtis Chapman.
“We’re the business behind the dream,” DeZwaan-Lemke said.
Strings for Hope will be hosting a personal growth convo in MBC 103 Nov. 20.
It will cover what the organization is all about, how it began, how others can get involved and the importance of social enterprise.
Sophomore Rachel Masterson got more involved this fall. She’s already seen the impact and growth of the organization.
“We hope to show students how a small idea can turn into a huge nonprofit like Strings for Hope. We’re not just selling jewelry, we’re selling something that has meaning,” Masterson said.
The special bracelets will be sold at the convo for 10 percent off.
For those who are unable to attend the convo, this holiday season Strings for Hope will be selling its products at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel.
Junior Allie Gospel has been involved with Enactus since her freshman year.
“By purchasing a piece of jewelry from Strings for Hope, you’re not only getting a unique gift, but you’re helping women in need, food banks and spreading awareness. There’s no downside,” Gospel said. “Give someone something that will give back to others. It’s the season of giving.”
The bracelets will be sold from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. starting Nov. 19 through Dec. 21.
This article was written by Jessica Johnson.