Contestant's Case to Win
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The One Pearl Story
By Theresa Wing Hines, Founder of One Pearl Jewelry
I equate the birth of One Pearl with the proverbial phoenix rising from the ashes. When One Pearl was conceived, my life was in turmoil. My heart was shattered and my soul was broken. Years of angst in our family came to a head and exploded with the forced removal of my older son from the only home heâ€™d ever known.
A Teenâ€™s Transformation
Just one month into his sixteenth year, my beloved son was â€śtakenâ€ť by escort, to live in the wilds of the smokey mountains. In the dead of winter, he was completely cut off from the world as we know it. Taken by force. Hopefully isolated from all that could do further harm to his broken spirit and mind. In this setting, the healing began, but ever so slowly. He was inundated with hours of therapy and metaphorical tasks, all whilst encapsulated in the harsh mountain winter. Just as a pearl forms when a particle is introduced to a foreign environment and coated with nacre, so my son was beginning his transformation in the wilderness. A jewel in the rough, slowly taking shape.
The One Pearl Concept
It was during one of my darkest times, in the early weeks of my sonâ€™s absence from home, that the analogy comparing him to a pearl came to me. It struck like lightening. He was my pearl, and was only beginning to take shape. I decided that each piece of my jewelry would feature a contrasting black or white pearl to symbolize transformation and hope. Profits from sales would be used to help initiate transformation in the lives of others, whether through education, health care or behavioral programs. I was going to take the bleakest moment of my life and try to make something good come from it. One Pearl literally saved meâ€¦.
My younger son, at home, trying in vain to understand what had happened to his brother. Confused and scared, he forged ahead. Already one of the kindest souls iâ€™ve ever met, he is coming out the other side an even more understanding and compassionate human being, with a heart of gold. He is also my pearl.
My older son was gone from home for over two and a half years. He has emerged transformed by therapeutic schools and programs. My younger son, shaken and challenged by his brotherâ€™s experience, is resilient and strong. They have both rounded the corner. To me, they are present in each piece of One Pearl jewelry I wear.
We are just one family though, and are so fortunate to have had the resources to get help. The enormous expense of my older sonâ€™s treatment was not covered by insurance. My heart aches for those families whose children desperately need this help, yet cannot afford it. Angered by this, I began to piece together a planâ€¦that plan became One Pearl.
One Pearlâ€™s mission, then, is to help those who need these types of services but cannot afford it. We donate money to a range of organizations, each of which is providing an educational, therapeutic, or health benefit to people in need.
This lovely pearl, which adorns every piece of my jewelry, to me, represents my beloved sons.
Who is your pearl?
One Pearl was recommended by Tina Brown's "The Daily Beast" as one of 2008's Top 6 "Gifts that Give Back":