Woman turns illegal weapons into jewelry for a cause
NEWARK, N.J. (WHDH) -- A Connecticut woman is getting creative with confiscated guns. She is turning the illegal weapons into jewelry.
Jewelry for a Cause began with inexpensive jewelry that schools and groups could buy and re-sell as fundraising tools.
“We have worked with over 300 schools across the country and we have a couple of retail lines that are sold in stores across the U.S.,” said Jessica Mindich of Jewelry for a Cause.
A portion of the profits from retail sales go to organizations like the Alzheimer’s Foundation and the Red Cross.
“It's been so wonderful because people feel so good making these purchases. It's truly jewelry that sparkles with good intentions,” said Mindich.
Recently the company began their caliber collection -- making bracelets from shredded guns and shell casings taken from the streets of Newark to symbolize the need to get guns and gun violence off the streets.
“Where there is a shell casing there was once a bullet, so I thought it was an important part of the story. We have illegal guns. We have shell casings on the ground,” said Mindich.
Orders are coming in from all over the world from people committed to the cause and others who have been the victims of violence.
“People who have had destruction in their lives due to illegal guns and they are also really proud to wear this as a symbol of support and comfort,” said Mindich.
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. It's a symbol. It's a message,” said Mindich.
The effort doesn’t end there.
“Twenty percent of the proceeds from the caliber collection goes back to the Newark police department to fund gun buyback programs. We have already donated $20,000 to the Newark police department and after six weeks of sales,” said Mindich.
Mindich says of the thousands of emails she has gotten about all of this, virtually none have been in any way negative.
“I think that they feel they are wearing a symbol that change can happen and it's not the only answer. It's just something that I can do,” said Mindich.