Hope You Can Hold challenged themselves and others to earn and build bead necklaces for people fighting cancer. Walkers wore strings around their necks and earned beads for people they did not know. Each walked lap earned one bead for each strand worn by a walker.
Many walkers remain anonymous. What the walkers all had in common is that in walking for the beads and contributing, they felt empowered and connected. They found spiritual meaning in a small plastic bead. The thought of the next bead kept them going through pain, fatigue, and blisters.
People worked on your necklace because your story, no matter how much or how little they know, has touched their lives. They worked on your necklace because hope and compassion are powerful tools in your arsenal. They worked on your necklace to make a difference in your life, and they often found working on your necklace made a difference in their own lives. One of your walkers prays for you when she walks. Another one of your walkers, a WWII veteran over 85 years old walks several miles every day despite pain; she tells you to keep going even when the sidewalk is lumpy, bumpy, and all but broken.
Each walker had their own unique way of picking beads, tracking miles, and creating patterns. Color choice is usually very deliberate and personal for the walkers; often they are trying to share a message. The original bead order of the strands, no matter how odd, remains intact in the combined necklace.
We give you this necklace of 189 beads, this necklace of 47.25 miles, so that you know you are never alone. So that you understand when you feel hopeless, others are hoping for you. So that you remember when you feel powerless, others can empower you. So that above all you remember you are loved.
With Hope and Love,
City of Oldsmar, Florida
Each Hope You Can Hold necklace is one-of-a-kind for the patient. Every necklace is delivered with a customized letter explaining the necklace.
Following is one of the 2016 letters:
As of February 4, 2019:
81 Necklaces Delivered
3,700 Miles Walked