I created Paying It Forward Beading because everyone was asking about my beading and how I was doing after my diagnosis with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I learned to bead while at an inpatient facility, it was the only thing I could do to ground myself, the one thing that kept me level headed. Over the years it has grown to more than just beading, it now encompasses paper crafts and sewing. Crafting is my therapy. While it allows me to create items and give back to Veterans, Military & their families, it is also an opportunity to bring awareness to PTSD and other mental health issues.
Nothing makes me feel better than giving a smile to someone. Finding a package in the mail and a note makes a bad day not so bad. Knowing someone has taken the time out to make a craft or card allows people to know they matter and that someone cares.
My reason for crafting is because it helps me maintain control of all the problems that come with a PTSD diagnosis. When I began my journey I was medicated to keep all the symptoms in check. There was a time I was taking over 40 pills a day, that was not working for me and there was not a lot of healing going on, just masking of symptoms. So when the decision to retire from active duty came around, I decided to take another approach. No medications and since counseling was not something I wanted to do a few times a week, I went searching for other avenues to treat and live with the symptoms of PTSD. I am not saying get off your meds or stop your treatments, this avenue of healing just works for me. We are all different and heal in different ways, talk with your family and doctors about what you are dealing with to ensure you are getting the best care for you.
I am doing better mentally than I was six months ago, better than a year ago and a lot better than five years ago. Everyday I still fight the PTSD demons, but they are not as strong as they use to be. Having an outlet has been very helpful in this process.
Effective 1 APR 2018, Paying It Forward Beading is a certified North Carolina nonprofit charity organization.
To search for Paying It Forward Beading with the NC Department of state click link below and just type in my name.
You can also see the Certified copy of the Articles of Incorporation below.
Many people ask how they can help me with what I do, here is how you can contribute:
- You can send a donation through PayPal, the email address associated with it is firstname.lastname@example.org or use this link paypal.me/PayItForwardBeading
- You can send gift cards from Walmart, Amazon, Etsy, Michael’s Craft Stores and AC Moore Craft Stores since that is where I get most of the supplies.
- There is a wish list on Amazon you can purchase from to support these efforts. It is updated depending on what I will be making or want to make http://smile.amazon.com/registry/wishlist/20INEWWF5S1J9
You can use the email address of PayingItForwardBeading@outlook.com for correspondence or simply click on the CONTACT page on the banner above. If you have unused craft materials you can donate them to me and they will be used! Nothing will go to waste.
Anita Herrada-Johnson, USAF, MSgt Retired
Founder, Paying It Forward Beading