Journey Beads Support and Volunteer Opportunities - Bronson Healthcare
Here are some ways you can help support the Bronson Children's Hospital Journey Beads Program!

Click here if you are interested in taking classes at West Michigan Glass Art Center to learn how to make and clean glass beads!

Volunteer to Create Beads

We are always recruiting artists throughout southwest Michigan and beyond to create glass beads for patients in Bronson Children’s Hospital. Materials and studio space have been generously donated by West Michigan Glass Art Center, so there is no cost to artists other than their time and talent. Glass material will be provided to artists making beads from locations outside of West Michigan Glass Art Center’s studio.

We ask that those participating are able to produce quality beads with no sharp edges, but perfection is not required. There is no minimum commitment for number of beads produced or hours volunteered. The program begins immediately and will continue indefinitely. For specific guidelines, or to schedule studio time, please call the West Michigan Glass Art Center at (269) 552-9802, or email

Training is also available for aspiring bead makers. Visit West Michigan Glass Art Center's website for class schedules and pricing.

Volunteer to Clean and Inspect Beads

Each bead is made on a steel mandrel which is dipped in bead-release. The beads need to be broken free of that bead-release, pulled from the mandrel, soaked again and then each needs to have the bead-release that is still in the hole of the bead cleaned out. Once all beads are free, clean and dried, they need to be looked at closely by someone with an eye for detail, looking both for specific flaws in the bead and double checking that all bead-release has indeed been cleaned out of the bead. After cleaning and quality control, the beads need to be counted and sorted by the procedure each bead corresponds to. Then and only then, can they be delivered to the children at the hospital.

This job can be done West Michigan Glass Art Center at any point during regular business hours, Monday – Thursday, 9:00am-4:30pm and Friday 9:00am-3:30pm. Jesse Bake, executive administrator, would be the one training any and all of those interested in helping out with this process. You may contact Jesse directly to schedule a time to receive training and help clean and inspect the beads at (269)552-9802 or

Donate today!

Bronson Children’s Hospital Journey Beads program is supported by the Bronson Health Foundation through a grant funded by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs as well as through individual community donations and in partnership with West Michigan Glass Art Center.

If you would like to support the Journey Bead program with a financial contribution, please contact the Bronson Health Foundation at (269) 341-8100, send an email to or click here to make an online donation. If making an online donation, please select the Children’s Hospital Fund Journey Beads Program.

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Bronson Children's Hospital Journey Beads