Upcycled jewelry fundraiser for rabbits

In a world where it pays to recycle, reduce, and reuse as much as possible, a lot of people like to go one step further: upcycling. Upcycling is different from recycling, which most often reduces the quality of the goods. When you upcycle, however, the quality of the product stays the same or improves. (Turning discarded juice packs into handbags, for example, is a classic upcycle.) So what happens when you upcycle to benefit the animals? That pulls off the rather impressive combination of going green, getting creative, and helping animals all at once. Now there’s a great way to spend an afternoon!

Woman creating and painting an upcycle rabbit necklace

Rita Storms of Long Beach, California, is a true champion of rabbits. Back home she volunteers every day with the community population of rabbits at Long Beach Community College. In addition, she visits Best Friends on a regular basis to volunteer any way she can. During one of her recent visits, Rita went one step further with her volunteering. She taught a class on jewelry-making to the rabbit staffers.

Upcycled art and jewelry

Back home, Rita enjoys creating upcycle art. She’ll take some old discarded domino tiles, use a few secret techniques, and wham: an incredible necklace. Or she’ll find some second-hand prom dresses at the thrift store (there are always plenty to choose from) and use that fabric to create cloth flowers of all colors and variety.

Fundraiser for rabbits

Debby Widolf, rabbit manager at the Sanctuary, was familiar with Rita’s skills and asked if she would mind teaching the rabbit caregivers how to create some of these items. Then, the idea was, they could sell the items to help raise money for the rabbits at the Sanctuary. As anybody who knows the history of the rabbit folks at Best Friends can tell you, they’re wizbangs when it comes to fundraising. And now they have even one more tools up their sleeves. Rita, who loves helping rabbits in any way she can, was delighted at the idea and had a great time teaching the class. Just goes to show that the ways in which you can help animals are limited only by imagination.

Photos by Sarah Ause

Interested in creating your own fundraising project? Best Friends offers tips to help you get started.