Alex and Ani has been a long-time supporter of NAA’s programs and families affected by Autism. Proceeds from sales of the Piece of the Puzzle bangle have allowed us to help thousands of families over the last five years. When our friend Lia asked me to come to their headquarters because she had something exciting to share, I knew it would be special, but I had no idea how deeply it would touch me.
I watched the video below through tear-filled eyes as I thought about the story of my great-grandmother who I still have fond memories of. As an infant, she traveled by sea from Portugal with her parents on a journey toward a new life and opportunity in America. She became ill on board and her mother hid her on the ship, fearing that if anyone thought she was contagious, they would surely toss her beloved baby overboard. Thank goodness for me and my kids (5 generations later), they all arrived safely and went on to build a big, beautiful and loving family.
In the 1980’s the Statue of Liberty underwent an enormous restoration project. The original copper that held her together was replaced with steel and has been stored in a warehouse for three decades. As you might imagine, there were many potential buyers through the years for this precious metal, but no proposals were accepted – until now. If you could meet Carolyn Rafaelian, the Founder of Alex and Ani, you’d understand why she would be the one person who could be trusted to re-purpose this historic treasure with the love and respect it deserves. Carolyn designed the Liberty Copper Collection, a beautiful way for us to wear a piece of American history and our most iconic symbol of hope and freedom. But Carolyn didn’t stop there. She’s also generously donating 10% of sales through the end of the year to her Charity By Design partners, including NAA.
Just as Lady Liberty stands strong and carries light to people around the world, in some way, so do we all. At NAA, we strive to carry light as a beacon of hope for families affected by autism. Personally, I carry light for my children and try to make this world a better place for them. I carry light because even in the darkest of times, I always choose to hold on to hope. Think about how you carry light. Who do you carry light for? What do you carry light for? Who carries light for you? You are one flame that can ignite the world, whose path will you illuminate, who will you pass your torch to? Please use the hashtag #CARRYLIGHT and share your stories with us on social media. We’d love to hear from you!
With love and hope,
Wendy Fournier, NAA President