JCF Raises Record Amount
The Jewelers Charity Fund for Children will distribute a record-setting $2.6 million to charities this year, the organization announced at its annual Facets of Hope dinner June 2 in Las Vegas. Donations came from manufacturers, retailers and professional service providers throughout the jewelry industry. Twenty-eight underwriters donated $1.6 million of the total. The years major sponsor was the De Beers Group. Sponsors contributing $100,000 or more were Clyde Duneier Inc., Leo Schachter Diamonds, M. Fabrikant & Sons and Rosy Blue Inc.
The Make-A-Wish Foundation, one of the three major recipients of the funds charity, will receive $600,000. Through JCFs collaboration with Jewelers of America, whose members raise money in their stores, over 200 children with life-threatening illnesses have seen their wishes come true through the Wish-A-State program in the past three years. Recognizing the good the Make-A-Wish Foundation does in the U.S., JCF will provide a special $250,000 contribution to the foundations international branch over the next two years to fund 5,000 wishes for children with life-threatening illnesses in India.
St. Judes Childrens Research Hospital, Memphis, TN, received $600,000 for its work to fight catastrophic diseases afflicting children. Contributions raised this year are designated for an initiative to create the JCF Stem Cell Transplantation Laboratory.
The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation and the Glaser Pediatric Research Network will receive two donations totaling $912,500. JCF is the first founding member of the research network. A 2001 project JCF funded for the Glaser network raised $450,000 to fight mother-to-child transmission of the AIDS virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This year, it will fund a similar initiative in Angola for $350,000. In a short time, the funding has helped site leaders in the Congo make incredible progress. We are gratified JCF shares our excitement about the future of this program and the hope it could bring to thousands of children and families, says Kate Carr, president and CEO of the Glaser Foundation.
Also this year, JCF will provide a special endowment of $250,000 to become a Presidents Club member of the Nelson Mandela Childrens Fund.
JCFs work in helping the worlds children is one of the most hopeful and gratifying bits of news Ive reported all through this past eventful year. The jewelry industry may not be able to bolster the stock market or end terrorism, but it can put financial muscle behind helping the smallest victims of ill health and political upheavals.
While many industry leaders move forward to protect products such as gems and gold from criminal manipulation through programs such as the Kimberley Process and the Tanzanite Protocols, another large group of leaders contributes time, money or both to JCF to do equally important work. The outside world, especially human rights groups, needs to see the jewelry industry is not only regulating its products, but also caring about people in the countries where its raw materials are mined, traded or crafted. Nothing says this more eloquently than the record-setting donations to JCF during this challenging economic downturn. Bravo to all who contributed. Keep it up!
For more information on contributing to JCF, especially its holiday contribution and holiday greeting card programs, contact JCF Executive Director Pattie Light at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Peggy Jo Donahue