As we collectively hunker down for some unusually quiet holidays, we can take heart knowing that while we’re foregoing the family feasts we’re bending the curve in the right direction by simply couch surfing and watching Netflix (which is a whole lot easier than our Second World War brethren had it when they were asked to do their part).
But we still need to eat and make the occasional liquor store run, necessitating grocery store trips and gas station fill-ups, which means doubling down on masks. These little scraps of three-layer fabric are veritable life-or-death game-changers—if only they didn’t end up so frequently lost or, worse, crumpled like tissues in a coat pocket to be found weeks later.
Enter Blue Ruby x Cause We Care’s handcrafted mask chains. This pretty accessory features Japanese Miyuki beads on either a 14 karat yellow gold-fill or sterling silver chain that clips right onto your mask elastics so you can remove your face covering in the car without losing it, dropping it, or absent-mindedly stashing it. Think of it as an elevated Croakie minus the Bogner ski suit.
And there’s further peace of mind knowing that 100 per cent of the chain’s proceeds help fund the Cause We Care Foundation, a charitable organization that works toward empowering single mothers and children living in poverty in our community.
Since its inception more than a decade ago, the non-profit has raised over $3.2 million to help lift single mothers out of the cycle of poverty. From distributing food hampers and backpacks with school supplies to building the YWCA Cause We Care housing, the organization has made a significant difference.
Still, Andrea Hill and her colleagues wanted to do more. “What impact can we have to actually change the outcome of these women and their children’s lives?” the founder and chair of Cause We Care asked, before consulting with a dozen frontline organizations that work directly with single mothers living with hardship. “We wanted to build really strong relationships with organizations that understand what these women are going through.”
The Single Mothers Support Fund is where they landed. Launched in October, its goal is to empower single mothers with job skills and education that will make a real difference in their futures and their capacity to support their families. “It’s unbelievable the circumstances that so many of these women have found themselves in,” Hill says. “They’ve overcome so much, and all they want is a better future for their kids. To help give them strength and support, when they have no support, is where we come in.”
Cause We Care has collaborated with Blue Ruby for more than seven years to produce fund-raising bracelets, which have raised over $700,000 to date. “But with COVID, we shifted gears and came up with the mask chains, and it’s been really effective,” Hill says. Not only do the bracelets and chains raise awareness, but all proceeds go to Cause to Care.
And when the pandemic is all over, your mask chain works double-duty. “I’m praying that we don’t need mask chains for much longer,” Hill says. “So we added a clasp so they can turn easily into a necklace or a multiwrap bracelet.”
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