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An Easy Way to Make a Difference

By Susan McNeal Velasquez

Nov. 17 will mark the second anniversary of Heidi Miller’s surgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where she donated a kidney to save a life. She feels it is “the gift that keeps on giving.”

Heidi is a 5’2″ beauty with a big purpose and an unstoppable passion. She has established a Living Donor Transplants Foundation to find more kidney donors who are willing to, as she puts it: “Share your spare, baby!”

Heidi owns Tight Assets Women’s Clothing Store in downtown Laguna, across from Main Beach. I am awed by her commitment to make a difference. Though I’ve known about her and have had many opportunities to be at the same event as the same time, I’ve never had the opportunity to connect personally.

I saw a post she created on NextDoor recently. She is looking for donations of broken, used jewelry that is hidden in the back of jewelry boxes all around town. Why? She collects discarded jewelry pieces and creates works of art to fund her nonprofit organization.

Last week, I gathered up favorite pieces that I’ve kept over the years for no good reason and headed downtown to her shop. I was rewarded with a delightful conversation and an up-close look at the beautiful, creative ways she has repurposed the jewelry.

Here is where you come in. I heard Heidi when she shared: “So many have said they will bring their unusable jewelry but few actually do. I have had offers from prestigious stores that want to distribute these creations but I don’t have enough jewelry to meet the demand!”

One of Heidi Miller’s creations made of used jewelry that’s “repurposed for a purpose.” Photo courtesy of Heidi Miller

So it got me thinking. We can join together and make a commitment to follow through. Heidi wants your grandmother’s, mother’s, sister’s, wife’s, and girlfriend’s pieces that are sitting in drawers, forlorn and forgotten.

She wants that lone earring that used to be a happy couple but some unanticipated event separated the duo and you’ve held the abandoned one hostage because of misplaced sentimentality for a bygone past.

She wants that bracelet that is missing some stones and in your estimation isn’t worth repairing. She would be thrilled with those fancy buttons, cubic zirconia, glass beads, colorful gems, etc. Bring it and she will create with it.

Imagine the favor you will be doing your once cherished jewelry that has been merely existing. When they were at the height of their desirability, they enjoyed an untarnished reputation.

This is your opportunity to rebuild their self-esteem. Elevate their status beyond their wildest dreams. Imagine the satisfaction you will feel knowing that your fashionable favorites will be re-appropriated to serve as an integral part of an artistic creation, living in splendor and in the lively company of other contributors.

Rescue these artifacts of days gone by and give them the opportunity to shine once again. Deliver them to Heidi at Tight Assets. She opens daily at 11 a.m. and your gift would be just in time to celebrate her anniversary during the upcoming week of Nov. 17.

Susan is a local writer, produces self-help seminars, and is author of “Beyond Intellect: Journey into the Wisdom of Your Intuitive Mind.” Connect with her at susanvelasquez.com.

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