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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  • November 1, 2011
    2:44 pm

    Fantastic Jodi! I will be doing all my shopping in one with this beautiful pendant. Thank you SO much for sharing your talent and beautiful heart.

    • November 1, 2011
      3:10 pm

      Rachel, you are a prime example of the kind and generous souls that rock my world!

  • November 1, 2011
    3:07 pm

    Wow, Rachel, thank you so much for your kind words and your support!

    Simone, that is a fantastic idea! I’ll draft something up and run it by Julie Anne and I’ll include in all future pendant donations. Thank you, I really appreciate your enthusiasm!

  • November 1, 2011
    2:55 pm

    Will anything be included ittle card or something) with the pendants telling its meaning and how it is helping feed children? It would be a nice touch from the artist, as I would like to give some as gifts, as well, this Christmas. Thanks!! Love this!

    • November 1, 2011
      3:14 pm

      I did actually think of that at one point, but didn’t dare ask Jodi for more than these beautiful pendants (and all of the time she is already donating as well), so I’m glad you brought this up, and she has responded so quickly. I think it would make the gift receiver appreciate it all the more.

  • November 1, 2011
    3:16 pm

    Jodi – I have full confidence in whatever you decide to do. You’ve already won both my confidence and respect. I just have to say – I wear mine almost every day, even under scarves, because I swear it makes my heart feel bigger and happier – thanks you SO much!

  • November 1, 2011
    8:05 pm

    Jewels, I’d like to order 2, possibly 3 pendants but two will go to Cali, one to me. How does Jodi work the shipping? Is it easiest for her to mail all to one address? I want one for my mother, to be dear to her heart as her child, one for myself, representing my son close to my heart, and one for a dear friend who has been such a contributor and a wonderful person towards people in need and has her own young son…the pendant can represent the love we feel for our own children being passed on to those so much more in need. There’s nothing better than enjoying the gift and giving it forward simultaneously. –Cyndi

    • November 2, 2011
      11:00 am

      Hi Cynthia:

      Jodi says she can’t fit more than two pendants per box, so I’ve been footing the extra shipping costs. It’s up to you, but it works better for us if you do two separate purchases. I’m just grateful for your support!

  • November 2, 2011
    2:03 am

    Thank you so much! I was thinking just a small card, about business sized, to fit into a small jewelry gift box. LOVELY! I just think it would be beautiful to share its meaning, AND how the receiver could order some to help the cause, as well! (Just a website even.) Bless you and Julie Anne. I will feel good about my gift giving this year knowing it’s helping hungry children AND a supporting the arts (you/art) all in one. Xoxo

    • November 2, 2011
      10:47 am

      Hi Simone, thank you SO SO much for your wonderful idea.

      I’ve created a card (well, it’s printed on regular paper but it folds into a business-card size) and it will be included in all future donations.

      Your support of both the Children’s Hunger Crisis Relief Fund and of art is so appreciated!

      You’re such a kind soul!!


  • November 2, 2011
    1:00 pm

    OK. You convinced me. Just ordered my 3!

    • November 2, 2011
      1:09 pm

      We just got your order, and are so excited – thank you so much Cheryl. Every time you wear it close to your heart, you’ll know you kept other hearts beating. I wear mine almost everyday because it feels good to be reminded.

  • November 2, 2011
    11:13 am

    Julieanne, Thank you so much for posting the picture of you wearing the pendant. I really love being able to see it on a person.

    I’ll be ordering 3 soon. One for me, one for my mom and a 3rd as a gift to either my daughter or my sister in law!

    • November 2, 2011
      11:23 am

      That is fabulous Cheryl! Thank you, but please don’t wait too long. These children need our help now, so if there is anyway to purchase now, and save the pendant until you give it to the recipient, I highly encourage it.

  • November 2, 2011
    11:17 am

    Thank you Simone, but it is really about the struggle these children and their families are facing – it breaks my heart.

    At the same time, we are experiencing the worst economy in 80 years, so rather than just ask people for donations, I wanted to provide a service or in Jodi’s case, a product that made giving more economical sense to everyone.

    I’m basing it all on a win-win-win theory. You feed your family while feeding a friends at the same time w/o much extra effort the get a few home-cooked meals for the week, and their donation helps save lives, so everyone gets something out of the deal.

    In this case the win-win-win is you buy a gift (taking care of your holiday gift-giving list, the person the gift is for gets a beautiful pendant, and you both know you helped save lives.

  • November 2, 2011
    12:51 pm

    Thank you for showing us that scars can be beautiful. You are beautiful.

    • November 2, 2011
      1:10 pm

      Look whose talking, Miss Gorgeous! Thank you.

      • November 3, 2011
        12:19 pm

        Very sweet…but besides your obvious beauty, what you are doing for this organization is beautiful. One of many causes that are dear to me.

      • November 3, 2011
        12:27 pm

        Thank you, I just went with tugged at my heart the hardest.

  • November 3, 2011
    12:41 am

    I’m getting an error notice when trying to order. I’m on my phone…will try from my laptop tomorrow when I return home. I’ve RT on Twitter and will share your blog about this from my laptop tomorrow afternoon as well. Xoxo

    • November 3, 2011
      9:31 am

      Your a doll Simone, thank you. I think the trouble you are having is either the site is busy or phone related, because sales are coming in fast and furious. Thanks to so many generous and kind supporters we’ve already helped 20 children and hope to help many more. THANK YOU!

  • November 3, 2011
    11:06 am

    Must have been a server error…working even from my phone this am! Is Jodi in So Cal, too? Is there anything I can do to help? Donate shipping boxes, help get shipments ready? Contact me, if so. Xoxo

    • November 3, 2011
      11:25 am

      Unfortunately Jodi is on the east coast – I wish I could help too! Each pendant is made by hand, she has four children to raise, a full time job, and her jewelry business to run.

      I will ask everyone to please be patient. We WILL get these out to you in plenty of time for Christmas, but we have had a fantastic response thanks to all of your generous hearts, and hope more of you will participate too. Thank you so much!

      • November 3, 2011
        12:54 pm

        Hi everyone, I just wanted to say that I am so completely blown away by the response to the pendant! I am so SO pleased!

        Each pendant is handmade once your order is placed (that’s the beauty of handmade…each item is specifically made just for you.)

        I promise you that you will receive your pendants soon.

        Thank you everyone!

        And Simone, you are a sweetheart and a half for offering to help!

  • November 3, 2011
    11:27 am

    PS. Thank you for offering to help out Simone, and for your super generous order!

  • November 3, 2011
    2:48 pm

    Hi Julie. I really love the necklace that you posted here and you wear it beautifuly. I’m gonna get this necklace for me for christmas for sure!

    • November 4, 2011
      10:11 am

      Aw, thank you Laura. Don’t wait too long – it is a limited edition and the response has been magnificent. The children your money will benefit need that money for food, water, and medicine now, so please don’t wait until Christmas – so many are dying everyday.

  • November 4, 2011
    10:07 am

    Wish you were closer so I could help with the “grunt” work, Jodi! Not concerned about how quickly I get them. What a generous donation of time and talent! Wondering how we can get more exposure and press about this!

    • November 4, 2011
      10:08 am

      Any and all effort in getting the word out is much appreciated Simone, thank you!

  • November 6, 2011
    9:19 pm

    I got your e-receipt, Jewels. Thanks to you and Jodi, my mom will be receiving a pendant for her birthday, enjoying that it’s both lovely and for a great cause!

    • November 8, 2011
      5:57 am

      Thank you SO MUCH, Cynthia!! May she wear it in health and know that it’s a gift of love from you.