For the last two and a half years Joan Lloyd, of Yorktown, has been making earrings she donates to battered women's shelters in Westchester.
She also holds jewelry-making workshops at the Hendrick Hudson Free Library, and others. Lloyd has one rule though – if you make a pair of earrings for yourself, you must make a second one for her to donate to women seeking shelter from domestic abuse.
"I'm a nurturer," said the 70-year-old woman, who is a retired middle school teacher, a former IBM employee, an author (of more than 30 books) and a volunteer EMT for the Lake Mohegan and Yorktown Volunteer Ambulance Corps. "If someone gives me a problem, I try to fix it."
Although domestic violence isn't personal for Lloyd, she has always supported women's issues, she said.
She was first inspired by a Long Island woman who made and donated jewelry to shelters in her area. Now, Lloyd herself donates to about 20 shelters, most in New York and New Jersey, but also one in Texas and one in California. She makes between 600 and 700 pairs of earrings each month.
"I enjoy making earrings and only have two ears, so it was an ideal project for me," she said. "I am joined in my earring making by my wheel-chair confined daughter in Texas. It's a great project for seniors, the physically or mentally challenged as well."
Her mission to is make a woman, who might be at a really low point in her life, feel like someone cares about her, Lloyd said.
Lloyd buys the supplies for each earring herself and says her workshops at the libraries are open to anyone ages 10 and up. And yes, there have been boys and a few men attend. The library courses don't have a materials' fee for the attendees since the library takes care of that. Elsewhere, there is a material fee of $3-5 per attendee.
Because the locations of the shelters are not made public for safety reasons, Lloyd sends her earrings to post office boxes. She has never met the women she helps, she receives thank-you letters from those who run the shelters, and on rare occasions notes signed by residents.
Some of the shelters, the woman has donated earrings in Westchester, are Hope's Door in Pleasantville, My Sister's Place in White Plains, as well as the Victims Assistance Services in Elmsford, Maria Ferari Children's Hospital in Valhalla.
"People don't have a lot of money," Lloyd said. "This is something they can do without spending money."
If you'd like to get in touch with Lloyd and are interested in her hosting a workshop for you or your group, you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Upcoming jewelry making workshop dates are:
- July 7 at 1 p.m. at the Somers library
- July 9 at 4 p.m. in Mt. Kisco
- July 16 at 6 p.m. at Hen Hud Library in Montrose
- July 24 at 4:30 p.m. in White Plains Library
- July 25 at 6 p.m. at the in Yorktown
- Aug. 13 at 6 p.m. at Hen Hud Library in Montrose
- Aug. 14 at 6:30 p.m. at the Lewisboro Library
- Aug. 16 at 6 p.m. at the Larchmont Library
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