Making Handmade Medical Alert Bracelets Accessible

A Peacemaking Project by Grace S.

What is the injustice we are solving?

I have decided to make medical alert bracelets for those with diabetes, allergies, or any other important medical information. I have a friend who I know closely with diabetes who is aware that a medical alert bracelet has the ability to save her life, but she chooses to not wear one because she can not find one that she likes. I am in a ceramics class in my high school and we have made jewelry out of metal clay, this is clay that has the normal properties of clay but when fired it becomes metal. One day I was wearing a bracelet that I had made and my friend expressed how much she liked it, I asked her if she would wear one if I made her the same bracelet but made it a medical alert bracelet. She said she would so this sparked my idea. I plan to make one for her and then sell more medical alert bracelets and necklaces on Amazon and Etsy so that others can have to opportunity to wear life-saving jewelry that they are proud to wear. My high school is able to offer a kiln that I will fire the jewelry in but metal clay is no longer in their budget; with the Peace First mini-grant I will purchase more metal clay and make more bracelets for those with medical concerns! I plan to address the injustice of companies making unattractive, bulky, unprofessional, and expensive jewelry for those with medical concerns. I hope to be able to make custom medical alert bracelets free of charge in order to help people with medical concerns live more carefreely! I have calculated that I will be able to make over 50 custom medical alert bracelets with a kg of metal clay.

Our Compassionate Solution:

To solve this injustice of Over priced, unattractive, and bulky medical alert jewelry
we will address Overpriced, unprofessional, or unattractive medical alert jewelry by making custom bracelets available to those who need them
by by creating professional, sleek, and classy medical alert jewelry with metal clay for those who are in my local community and selling them on Amazon for free.

Our Project Plan:

Goals

  • The goal of our project is to increase the affordability and accessibility of medical alert bracelets for people from all walks of life.

We will increase my / our compassion by...

We will increase our compassion by spending time handmaking the beautiful jewelry into unique pieces that people will love for free. I have spoken to my ceramics teacher and we have designated an hour every Thursday in May from 4:30-5:30 to crafting these unique pieces that all members of the community are welcome to attend.

How will you show courage?

I will show courage by leading this project and starting conversations with new people. I will locate the people who are most in need of affordable and professional medical alert jewelry and I will make sure they can access them.

How will you collaborate with others?

I will collaborate with others by advertising the creative sessions and speak to members of my community who show up so that I can have more insight as to who is in need of this product.

How will you know you are moving in the right direction? (What are specific ways you can measure your impact?)

I will know that I am moving in the right direction when I am able to see my best friend wear a medical alert bracelet that she is proud to wear that will be able to save her life in the case of a diabetic emergency. I will also know that I am moving in the right direction when I am able to give the same joy to other members of my community. Another way I will know that I am moving in the right direction is when I am able to get a positive turn out for the jewelry making sessions so that I can start a conversation in the community.

Key Steps

  • Advertise jewelry making sessions
  • hold jewelry making sessions and speak to members of my community
  • create jewlwery
  • distribute jewelry to those in my community in need
  • List items made on amazon free of charge

Comments:

Akila S.
8 June 2018 10:36

Hi Grace! We're checking in because you haven't submitted your reflection yet. Reflections were due on May 31 as a part of your mini-grant award. Please submit your reflection as soon as you can. We're looking forward to hearing about how your project went!

Here is the link to your reflection: https://www.peacefirst.org/projects/making-handmade-medical-alert-bracelets-accessible/dashboard/reflection

Akila
 

Fish S.
6 April 2018 16:29

Hi Grace! Congratulations! Your project has been selected to receive a Peace First Challenge mini-grant. We will be in touch soon with details about this payment.

The mini-grant process is also a space for you to get feedback on your peacemaking project. We hope you will use this feedback to further strengthen your project. Please see the feedback on your mini-grant below

Strengths:
Grace, this is a terrific project. I really like the way you've worked to collaborate with and understand the needs of folks who require medical bracelets, the fact that you are hoping to use this project to start a conversation in your community, and your focus on accessibility for all. These things are what make your project a peacemaking project -- because they show a compassionate understanding of others' needs and will bring others to the table. It looks like you have a sound plan for putting it all together, too.

Things to consider (Opportunities to further strengthen the project)
I would echo Kelsey's suggestion that you revise your compassionate insight -- so that other young people who visit your project can better understand the amazing work you're trying to do!

Congratulations and best of luck with your project!
 

Amani A.
27 March 2018 12:45

Hi Grace!

We're excited to hear more about your ideas to address this important injustice! I wanted to let you know about an opportunity -- if you are interested in getting some funding for materials that you need to carry out your project, you can apply for a mini-grant of up to $250.

The deadline to submit your Project Plan and Mini-Grant Application is March 31st if you want to remain eligible to apply to attend a Peace First Accelerator.

As you craft your plan, be sure to consider the feedback we gave you on your compassionate insight, and check out our project planning tools for help turning your insight into a concrete action plan: https://www.peacefirst.org/plan-your-project

Then, through your dashboard, you can make any changes you want to make to your "compassionate insight," record your plan in "Make a plan" and then "Apply for a mini-grant" for the materials you need.

Let us know if you have questions. We're looking forward to supporting your project!  

Kelsey T.
1 March 2018 9:42

Hi Grace! Thanks for updating your insight and helping us understand your project better! I also LOVE what you wrote below in your comment for Adrian about "those with disabilities, especially young adults/ teenagers are afraid to speak out about their illness and wear their medical alert bracelet proudly, I hope that by putting time and effort into each piece of jewelry I can help them come to terms with their illness and be proud of who they are." Your description here of how this relates feels SPOT ON and I'd love for you to incorporate some of that into your compassionate insight. For example, it might actually make sense for you to change the way you describe the "Injustice" (first part of the insight sentence) -- you could talk about the fact that teens and young adults are -- as you put it -- "afraid to speak out about their illness and wear their medical alert bracelet proudly." I think the fact that people are less safe and less confident or proud is a big part of what makes this an injustice, right? Then, for the root cause, what you have fits really well as this explains some of the reasons that people don't wear medical alert bracelets -- and the final part of the sentence is great because it explains clearly how your project directly addresses this lack of access to affordable, attractive bracelets. Well done!
We also received your mini-grant application, but before we process it the next step is for your to complete your project plan. Check out our "Plan" tools here for help (and I'll shoot you an email with a bit more info about what we need to finalize your application!) : https://www.peacefirst.org/plan-your-project  

Adrian B.
1 March 2018 9:28

Hi Grace! I love how you've been thinking deeply and going into the root cause of the injustice you're working to address. It seems like you've found a literally beautiful way to save lives! Please let me know if you have any questions, or want to bounce more ideas off of us. :) Adrian  

Grace S.
28 February 2018 23:28

Thank you for being so supportive! I have definitely learned a lot in this process and it has helped me gain a better understanding of the root injustice I am trying to address. I would make the custom bracelets free of charge if I was given the mini-grant because creating artwork is something I already enjoy and already spend lots of time doing.  

Grace S.
28 February 2018 23:23

Hi Adrian!
Thank you so much for your insight and bringing these issues to my attention I edited my project a little and addressed the root injustice that I am combating. I plan to provide custom professional and trendy jewelry to those in my local community in need for free, and then I plan to list my product on Amazon and simply charge a shipping fee! Another root cause I am trying to address is that those with disabilities, especially young adults/ teenagers are afraid to speak out about their illness and wear their medical alert bracelet proudly, I hope that by putting time and effort into each piece of jewelry I can help them come to terms with their illness and be proud of who they are.  

Adrian B.
16 February 2018 13:08

^ Yes, this is so exciting!!! Keep up the good work, and let us know if you have questions/how we can support you. :)  

Kelsey T.
14 February 2018 14:48

P.S. -- It sounds like you are in the process of diving a bit deeper -- I saw that you have been filling out the root cause section and from what I can see it sounds some of the important elements that might help you re-work your insight are that you've identified a lack of access to attractive medical bracelets -- in part because those that exist out there are often expensive. I also wanted to add that I love that your plan is to provide them for just the cost of the materials -- that will definitely help address the issue of access!  

Kelsey T.
14 February 2018 14:36

Hi Grace! I’m part of the Peace First team and wanted to provide you with Feedback for your Compassionate Insight. We provide insight feedback to help teams further strengthen their ideas as they head into the plan phase -- and since the insight is an important part of the mini-grant application, we also welcome you to use it make any changes you might want to make before you apply.

I know you are still digesting Adrian's comment below so I'll try not to overwhelm you with too much to think about! But I echo Adrian's observation of how great it is that you are looking for ways to utilize your artistic skills to help others!

I'd encourage you to think a bit more about how to articulate the injustice you are addressing (again these tools can help: https://www.peacefirst.org/choose-injustice). Currently you've listed "Medical Alert Jewelry" as the injustice -- but Medical Alert Jewelry itself isn't really what you mean by the injustice, right? Once you feel clear about that, you can finish your Compassionate insight by digging into the root causes of the injustice -- what is happening under the surface that is creating that injustice? Our Understand tools (https://www.peacefirst.org/understand-through-compassion) can help with that.

We are happy to help you think through any of the above! :) I'm really excited to see how this innovative project evolves! Thanks for being a peacemaker!  

Adrian B.
13 February 2018 14:23

Hi Grace!

Thanks so much for posting this project! I love how you're thinking about ways you can use the skills and knowledge you have in art to support other people. That's so important, and I bet the bracelets you'll make (and have made) are beauteous!

I'm curious if we can go deeper and clarify the injustice you're defining here. The next step in the peacemaking process will involve making a compassionate insight (if you do this by Feb 28 you'll be eligible to apply for our spring accelerator conferences)--and part of that will be naming and clarifying the injustice. Here are some resources to help you get started with that: https://www.peacefirst.org/choose-injustice

I'm also wondering if you and your friend have come across the many stylish medical alert bracelets that already exist. Here are a few links--perhaps they will be useful as inspiration!

https://www.americanmedical-id.com/extra/fashion-medical-id-styles.html#page=1
https://www.laurenshope.com/stylish-new-medical-id-styles-for-women
https://www.etsy.com/market/medical_id_bracelet
https://www.stickyj.com/category/medical-bracelets-for-women
https://www.n-styleid.com/medical-id-alert-bracelets.html

So there already are a range of styles available for medical alert bracelets, and people whose lives may be saved by wearing them do have a good number of options. But that doesn't mean that this project has no place! I encourage you to go deep and think about how this project may stand out. Are you hoping to sell these bracelets on a sliding scale, and/or donate some to people who can't purchase them? Or are there other forms of medical equipment (wheelchairs, prosthetic limbs, oxygen masks, etc.) that would benefit from beautification? Maybe there's another idea you have that also will get to the root of the problem. :)

I'm so excited to see where this idea leads! Please let me know if you have any questions, or if we can support you in any way!

Best,
Adrian