Beads, bullets and bracelets: How one non-profit is changing lives through jewelry

by Erica Finke, WSBT 22 Reporter

Beads, bullets and bracelets — that’s how a local nonprofit is trying to make a difference in the South Bend community.

As we came to find out, there’s truly so much more to Bullets 4 Life than the jewelry they make.

Coping after a tragedy is something we all do differently, and for some, it’s as simple as stringing beads together. Bullets 4 Life Indiana collects bullets from kids and young adults in South Bend.

Met some amazing women trying to make a difference in South Bend. They’re doing more than just making a cool bracelet…

Posted by Erica Finke WSBT on Monday, February 17, 2020

Loria Perez says that each bullet donated saves a life.

“The bullets all come with a story,” said Perez. “You know, it could be a suicidal bullet, a retaliation bullet, it can be an unused bullet.”

They make bracelets hoping to get kids off the streets. It gives them something to do, and most importantly, it gives kids like Rai’nijah and Devon someone to talk to.

“I lost two of my cousins to bullets, and being with this, it just helps me remember them and remember that I can always remember something for them,” said Rai’nijah Barbour, Junior Ambassador, “and it helps me just get through the hard times.”

“It brought a little bit of happiness and made me see that I got more people to go to,” said Devon Farmer, Junior Ambassador.

They only meet once a month to make jewelry, but the support continues through group therapy sessions.

“We have to help them understand that it’s okay to feel a certain way,” said TaKisha Jacobs, Lead Chief Ambassador. “It’s okay, everyone has emotions and it’s okay to be angry, it’s okay to be sad. It’s okay for all of that.”

TaKisha and Loria lost children to gun violence and hope that by doing this, they can make a positive change, one bullet at a time.

“It is our duty to help them get through this grief and help them find their pain and turn it into a passion like we have,” said Perez.

Bullets 4 Life has collected over 1,500 bullets since July 2019. They’re hoping to reach 3,000 as soon as possible.

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