Calling All Button Junkies!
Have you ever ended up with a huge stash of plain buttons and not know what to do with them? Here is one idea! I was scrolling through one of the button groups I belong to on Facebook when I saw a post from a lady in California. Cynthia Simonian has been collecting plain buttons for FIVE years! (Yes, you read that correctly, five years!) Why? The answer may surprise you!
Upon further investigation, I learned that Cynthia is the president of the California Holocaust Education & Resource Center (CHERC). She informed me that the center is building a display that will house 6 million buttons... one for each life lost during the Holocaust. The enclosure will be a double walled, 6 inch wide oval that stands 10 feet tall. Needless to say, this was a project I could really get behind!
The National Holocaust Memorial Museum
I took a bus trip with a group of friends to Washington D.C. around the time that the National Holocaust Memorial Museum was opened. It was an experience I will never forget and one that I cannot completely describe. There was one exhibit in particular that I still think of often. Dubbed 'The Shoe Room,' the room is lined with clear walls on either side. Behind those walls are shoes...thousands and thousands and thousands of shoes. Adult shoes, children's shoes, shoes with buckles, laces, and in at least one case, a shoe with buttons.
Seeing all of these empty, abandoned shoes struck a chord somewhere deep in my soul, even before reading the poem on the wall. The sheer volume, the countless lives lost...
WE ARE THE SHOES, WE ARE THE LAST WITNESSES.
How You Can Help
Those plain buttons that you don't know what to do with? They could be part pf the display that CHERC is building.
With a goal of 6 million, Cynthia had 2.5 million at the time of her last update (August 18th). There are no requirements; the center is simply looking for plain buttons in any configuration and color. I decided to count mine before sending, but this is not required. (At last count, I had over 7,000 to add to that 2.5 million. I figured the center would have plenty to count, so I would help out wherever I could.)
If you would like to donate to this cause, I am certain these folks would be ecstatic! You can send your donation to:
1100 W. Center St.
Visalia, CA 93291.
You can also follow their Facebook page for updates and further information.
Know anyone who may wish to be part of this? Simply click the share button on the right side of this article. Thanks!
08/30/2017 UPDATE: I have received a few questions regarding this organization's legitimacy. Following are two links that I hope resolve any questions.
California DOJ information re: CHERC
Federal (IRS) information re: CHERC