I normally photoshop it out of photos, but I kinda like how this pendant designed with love for others points to my life-saving scar, and symbolizes how close this cause is to my heart. Everyone knows Jewels loves jewels, so when jeweler Jodi Zulueta offered to design a limited edition pendant with 100% of proceeds benefiting the Children’s Hunger Crisis Relief Fund it took all of three seconds for me to email back “YES, please!”

The cause so close to my heart

I was so blown away by Jodi Zulueta’s generosity in creating and donating Jodi’s jewel for Jewels, that I asked her to tell me a little more about what inspired her to get involved. Her answer was so touching, my favorite part being how she views giving as something she can do both with, and to inspire, her own children. Her children are now helping other children! So, I asked her if I could publish it for you all to read, and she agreed.


Jodi at work

Jodi: I could write a book about my passion for doing charity work.  When I was an art major in college, I used my position as president of the Art Association to coordinate and organize fundraisers for a charity in my hometown of Jersey City, which focused on feeding the homeless in our Journal Square area.  These days I do volunteer work at the Hoboken Shelter by teaching art workshops to the shelter guests (who produce AMAZING work, by the way and are having an opening tonight!). I’m also a mom of four. Combine the volunteer in me with the mom in me and you’ve got someone who needs to do more than just feel compassion – I need to do something about it. And honestly, what drove me to this particular cause was reading your blog post – How to use the Personal Chef Approach™ to feed your family and  theirs.

Photo courtesy of Save the Children

The devastation these children and families in Africa are faced with is incomprehensible to people like us.We can’t handle a day without a cell phone.  Imagine not knowing where your next meal is coming from?? Imagine not being able to feed your children? When I read about your unique way of giving, by using your Personal Chef Approach™, I thought to myself, “How can I also give using the skills that I have?”  And voila!

Jodi with her three youngest. Two of her kids also donated fabulous paintings to the Hoboken Shelter

Not sure how relevant this is, but I wanted to add that I also look at what I do with the Hoboken Shelter, as well as now with Julie Anne Rhodes: Supporting the Children’s Hunger Crisis Fund, as a way of teaching my four kids to have compassion, appreciate what they have, and give to those who are in need.  And I can only hope when they get older that they continue to give.

It’s so important to see the world as bigger than your own backyard.  That’s another reason why I feel so strongly about reaching out to these families in Africa. Yes, helping locally is key, but helping those in the world we all share is paramount. We’re all human beings.

Designing Jodi’s jewel for Jewels

When I sat down to design this pendant, I wanted to not only make something pretty, I wanted to make something that will make the wearer remember “I got this onJulieannerhodes.com to support the Julie Anne Rhodes: Supporting the Children’s Hunger Crisis Fund and I’m making a difference.”  How do I get that message across?I wanted to have a juxtaposition of beauty and earthiness.  By taking the argentium silver, cutting it, hammering it and shaping it, it was a tribute to those we are helping.  Those who are living a life of hardships we can’t fathom.

By including the crystal, it’s a symbol of good things to come, of beauty of the human spirit, to reach out to others and make a connection.  A difference.Combining the two elements is creating a connection.I always strive to make a connection with the wearer in all of my jewelry pieces.  It’s more than just creating pretty things, it’s about making wearable art.

Jewels: I’ve bought four $25.00 pendants (it takes $100.00 to see one child safely through this drought) so far, and plan to buy more for every woman on my holiday list (sorry no surprise this year – the cat already is out of the bag, but helping people who need it most). Many of you have done the same, and we’ve already raised enough to save fifteen people, but we do hope to help many more. How many children will you feed by giving this double edged gift of love for the holidays? Please buy now – the children need food, water, and medicine right away before tens of thousands more will die. Together we can help rewrite this chapter of history.

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