Front Porch Beaders Reach a Whole Community in Need

By Elizabeth Matthews

Front Porch Beads began as an effort to bring a family together and has become a way to bring a community together, literally gathering on a front porch.

Frances Peters’ home has provided that front porch since 2018, when a small group of Amelia Park neighbors got together for a community beading session. Frances got the idea seeing the quiet enjoyment beading gave her extended family back in the U.K.

An idea was sparked, and she brought it home to Amelia Island as a small neighborhood event making bracelets to sell and distributing the proceeds to charity.

Frances persuaded Story & Song Neighborhood Bookstore Bistro to sell the wares from a small window box, and they’ve become so popular that a thousand unique hand-beaded bracelets have been sold.

As the funds rolled in, the ideas and suggestions about where to give the proceeds also rolled in. Unlike other charitable organizations, the beaders don’t work directly with the public. But they have found a way to reach those in need by choosing local charities with a high pass-through rate of donations to the population served.

Today, Front Porch Beads gives thousands of dollars every year to local philanthropic groups. They have raised $40,000 since 2018 and given every penny of it away. Recent donations have been made to Gracie’s Kitchen, Habitat for Humanity and Meals on Wheels.

Ten people casually bead on Fridays at Frances’ porch, and every Wednesday weekly beading sessions are held at the Fernandina Beach Library. The Wednesday sessions are open to the public and accommodate all ages and skill levels.

Front Porch Beads has displayed at the triennial Quilt Show, the Green Turtle Jam, Fernandina Beach Library’s spring festival and will be selling at the Wild Amelia Nature Festival in May.

As the group has grown, so has its inventory and reach. The jewelry is no longer exclusivly bracelets. Today, necklaces, earrings and even mask keepers round out the collection. Each item is still hand-crafted by the community for the community.

Front Porch Beads has no overhead and no employees — just volunteers who give freely of their time and energy to make a big difference in a small community. They would love to see the movement grow and spread to the next generation of beaders.

To learn more about Front Porch Beads, visit their website or come out to join them for beading at the Fernandina Beach Library, 25 N. Fourth St. every Wednesday from 1-4 p.m.

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Sandi Neal
Sandi Neal(@sknealaol-com)
1 year ago

Thus is a wonderful and beautiful gift to our community. Thanks, Frances, and to all who participate.

Dan Groth
Dan Groth(@c-daniel-grothgmail-com)
1 year ago

The cost of materials, supplies, storage, taxes and other expenses are paid by donors, separate from sales revenue… So if you buy a bracelet for, say, eight dollars the entire eight dollars goes to local charities. Recipients are selected by a group vote of the volunteers.

Dan Groth
Dan Groth(@c-daniel-grothgmail-com)
1 year ago

FPB also donates 100-200 volunteer-made jewelry items every year to womens shelters, hospital staff, recovery centers, jails and other local organizations (especially on holidays).

Jo-Ann Leimberg
Jo-Ann Leimberg(@jo-ann-leimberg)
1 year ago

Front Porch Beads offers personal community while being indivdually creative and satisfied through a guiding hand and goal – that of providing benefits to the greater community. It is a rewarding endeavor in so many ways. Thank you Frances and Dan.

Kconrad2k
Kconrad2k(@kconrad2k)
1 year ago

In a time when we are so divided, it is wonderful to have organizations like Front Porch Beads bringing people together and reaching out to help others in our community. We are so lucky to have Frances Peters here.

Cindy Jacoby
Cindy Jacoby(@cindyj)
1 year ago

On behalf of Nassau Habitat for Humanity, I would like to thank the Front Porch Beaders for their continued support of our mission: to build family strength, stability and self-reliance through home ownership. We are grateful for what you do for us and the rest of our community. Love where you live!

Frances Peters
Frances Peters(@frances-peters)
1 year ago

Many thanks for a lovely article and lots of kind words!

One minor correction…Front Porch Beads is NOT a 501c3, just a group raising funds to donate to local 501c3s.

(None of the volunteers wanted the group to become that formal…it’s all about the creativity and community, not paperwork!)